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“I am what I am, I’m Popeye the Sailor Man.” Could it be that simple?
I hope you remember or know of the old cartoons, “Popeye The Sailor Man“? If not I suggest you watch a couple on YouTube so you will see what I’m talking about here. It is an entertaining way to get a huge life lesson, believing in yourself. Yes, we can get personal growth from cartoons.
Something that happens on every episode is that Popeye goes from being lackluster and in an undesirable situation, to an energized, self-confident fireball taking care of business.
The analogy I see here with Popeye is that he transforms once he realizes who he really is and what he is capable of. Which is what we all can do.
When Popeye remembers who he really is, his arms bulge out, his eyes light up, is energy increases, he gets ideas that help him get out of a fix, he’s determined, and he gets things done fast . ..and he feels good about himself! . . . and he gets the girl!
When he knows who he is and what he is capable of, he does not hesitate, wonder, or ponder the fact, he just goes into action as if guided by a greater force. We all can do this! The people who KNOW that they are a certain way, can DO a certain thing, or even have something, just KNOW it!
There is no, “I wonder if?’ it’s just a matter of when. In our physical reality, there is a time lag, a gestation period between our thoughts and the experience. This is so that every little thought we have does not come out immediately in a physical form.
If this did occur, our life would be like that movie The Mask, where the character played by Jim Carey did physically enact everything he thought, as he thought it. If our knowing and belief that we actually are a certain way is strong enough, the not experiencing of it in the now, is not enough to deter us or to allow doubts, fears and worries take over.
Knowing who and what you are is different that wondering and hoping . . . it’s a belief! And yes, it is a choice. The reason we may not be enjoying everything we desire in life is because we are not in total belief of it, we are in a state of hoping or wanting. When in hope and want, we are separating ourselves from what we desire. When we believe, we have total confidence in ourself, our abilities and our actions.
Believing in something, even if unseen, places it in the now – whereas wanting something places it in the future. There is actually only now, there is no future in reality, you can only experience something NOW. Thinking about something as in the future is really thinking that you want it in your now at some point. So until you bring it into now, it will always be in the future.
This can be tough to grasp, but it is the difference between actually experiencing something and wanting it. Most sages and now science say that the only true reality is NOW. People who appear to be, do and have so easily are doing this, and they may not even be aware that they are. In their minds, they ARE the successful person, they HAVE lots of money, they CAN do certain things, even if they are not yet experiencing them!
So, with Popeye, is it the spinach? No, that’s just a metaphor for what it takes for him to wake up and realize who he really is. In reality, it’s our thought that does this. But just easy as it is to open a can of spinach and eat it, you can flip the switch on your thoughts.
One of the key ‘works’ of life is to come to the realization of who you truly are and what you are capable of, then to accept it completely with total faith, even before the related physical manifestation shows up. You must BE something in your belief before you will experience it.
On a personal level, this is what is meant by, I AM that I AM. It’s a declaration of self. Whatever you declare and believe yourself to be, do and have guides your experience in life. This is not just a wanting affirmation, it must be total belief. If your mind is saying, “yea, but” you do not believe!
Declare who you are, and believe it!
Your life is going on and on and on. This is a good thing of course and your brain is designed to keep it this way. Part of your brains function is to simplify as much as possible and to help you feel good which it is very good at. Now you may think that you are always feeling as good as you want this is because your brain sees keeping things the same as more comforting than change. So even what may not be good for you is perpetuated. Your brain is very good at keeping everything the same, in fact it helps to enhance whatever has already been experienced. The way the brain sees this is, you must want it – you chose it, even if not consciously.
The easiest course for your life is for more of the same and that is likely what you have been experiencing. This of course may be all good if you are totally satisfied with everything. But if you want anything about your life to be different, that’s not what your brain is in charge of. When your day is completely full of what you already think, feel and do where does the new come in? When your unconscious and conscious though are consumed with what is now going on, which I assure you they are, all of your attention is there as well. Your day to day life is essentially a habit that continues to feed and support itself, keeping you locked in as it is.
What happens is that you can become blind to other things, that are different. How this affects your life is this – You can become so involved with your repeating thoughts which increase in importance by default that you are not even aware of what you are not doing, what you are missing, and what is deeply important to you. I ran across a video that illustrates this. Pay attention to the guy speaking and do what he instructs you to do. Perception
This attention blindness keeps us doing what we have done and away from what is different and unrelated. You’ve heard the saying, “you can’t see the forest through the trees.” You may not see things that are right in front of you because your attention is already taken up with something. When focusing on the trees that are right in front of you, you are not able to see the scope of the entire forest and it’s varied landscapes.
Many of the things that you have grown to think are important because of your continual involvement, may not be so important to you at a deeper level. As you focus your attention on something it’s importance increases just from the increased presence of the involved thoughts and actions. With this higher level of importance your brain gives it more attention too making it even more prominent in your conscious and unconscious thought, thus many other things are completely shut out of your awareness.
It is important to know that you can really only focus on one thing at a time. When you are ‘multi-tasking’ you are actually jumping quickly back and forth from one thing to another. There is only so much of this that your brain is capable of doing. Plus, there is the time utilized factor. There are 24 hours in a day and when you have allowed the repetitive thoughts to inhabit those hours you are awake, there is no more time for other, new thoughts. You can easily use up your day pretty much thinking about the same things as you did yesterday and the day before. So where does new thinking fit it?
Essentially your life is easily consumed with what you have already experienced, have thought about a lot and have established feelings for. This is almost too simple. Allowing your daily life to continue on in the same way, as your brain helps you do, you are actually preventing yourself from seeing and experiencing anything new and different.
You do however have the ability and the right to make changes in your life anytime you want, you must choose to first and then follow through with persistence and determination to override what is already established in your mind. Your real power as a human lies with your ultimate command of your thought. Just because your brain functions the way it does does not prevent you from aver changing any of it. Where the problem lies is that most of us have a pattern of allowing our minds to perpetuate the same thoughts and experiences over and over rather than making frequent changes. Making frequent changes and adjustments to your thinking can become part of your normal operating system once do do it for a while. Your brain will support this just as it has supported anything else you have focused on.
To change any of your repeating life experience you will need to assert your command of your thought and make choices about what you do and don’t want to be your life experience. Just be aware of how your brain works, it wants to keep you comfortable by keeping things as they are.
As you work on change you may experience some of the following:
Doubt and worry,
Challenging your ability and self-esteem,
Brain fog, clouding your thought,
Short term gratification,
Don’t let this stop you, you don’t need to remain blinded by your existing life experience. Realizing what may occur up front you will be less likely to be influenced by it. Determination, persistence and the belief that you are fully capable will help you learn to make the wanted adjustments to your thought and what you focus on. It’s your mind, use it to your benefit.
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, 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 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 fact 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 daughters 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 against 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?
More life changing concepts at Effective Personal Development Blog