Author Archives: John Halderman
Author Archives: John Halderman
What do you want to be today?
Happy, joyful and pleasant, OR unhappy, miserable and crabby?
Will you expect good or will be expecting something to go wrong?
Will you feel confident in yourself or afraid you aren’t good enough?
You get the idea here. The thing is, you can actually decide which way you will be. All of your attitudes and feelings are the result of a definition. Your definition of yourself. The key is, this is not set in stone – it is set in your mind. And you can change it. You can choose a new and different self definition if the one you are now holding does not fully support the life that you want.
Of course, you did not sit down one day and lay out your self definition . . but you can! What you think of yourself has developed gradually over the years with much of it being a result of interpretations you made about experiences you were involved in. Now you were not likely consciously aware of these interpretations either, most of them were done based on other past experiences a well. All of these interpretations build upon themselves and without realizing it you just believe it all as just being the way you are.
You can actually change they way you interpret things, as well as the way you see yourself. Your unconscious mind, which is where all the automatic thinking and reactions come from is really serving what it knows that you want. And at some point, you instructed the unconscious mind what you wanted. And it’s function is to serve you. Your unconscious mind acts on your behalf all the time, after all it keeps your body functioning without you having to pay it any attention.
But there is a key fact with all of this. Your unconscious mind is not in charge – your conscious mind is. It may appear the other way around because so much seems to happen so automatically. The only way your unconscious mind knows what to do is from an order from the conscious mind. And your unconscious mind is very loyal and obedient. What you may have told it 25 years ago, it is still following as law. Your conscious mind is in charge. You can issue new commands to your unconscious obedient mind when you choose. The only catch is – that you must first know that you can. Well, now you know.
Now you can pay attention to what is happening automatically with your thought, your attitude, your perceptions – everything can be changed. You can decide which of these automatic functions serves you well in the way you want your life to be. You can rewrite the script for these thoughts and behaviors. Just because you have had a certain demeanor does not mean you are stuck with it. How do you want to carry yourself all day long? Your attitude? Your reactions? Your tone of voice with others? How you see everything?
Once you begin to notice characteristics about yourself, you can see which ones you like and which ones not so much fit your ideal way. Then, you can choose how you would rather heave it be. You can choose to be pleasant, happy, trusting, confident and more. And at the beginning of the day is a fine time to set things straight. In the morning, right after awaking from sleep, you can tell yourself what you will be like today. You can preset your disposition and your attitude. And know this will affect everything you do and experience. In this universe we are in, like attracts like – it’s a law.
You can declare, “I AM calm” “I am at peace.” “I am happy.” “I am confident.” “I am good with change.” “I am highly capable.” Now this may take a little while to take effect. It’s possible to change right away, but your unconscious programming may need a little coaxing to drop something it has operated with for many years. It will tend to fall back to the old ways in the beginning. But you, being in charge consciously, have the power to outlast your unconscious mind as long as you stay alert and diligent. I won’t say it’s not easy to fall back, it is, but you are stronger than your unconscious programming – you are in charge, consciously.
So, in the morning, set yourself up to be more like you want. Choose to be happy and joyous, and to treat people well – including yourself! Use affirmative statements repeatedly essentially to convince your unconscious of what you want, it will get the message and make the changes. Set the tone for yourself, and your day. You will be amazed at how much better things seem to go.
It’s your life, your mind – so take command, and choose.
A while back I saved an article I read about a girls college softball team that did something amazing. They identified with positive motivating statements and started winning games. This is a perfect example of how self-talk and affirmations can affect your actions.
It started when coach Kathy Straham of Sacramento State looked up 10 motivational sports related sayings and asked each player to pick two that they could relate to. The girls took this to heart and after receiving the sayings they started to win games, in fact they logged 8 consecutive victories ending the season as winning their conference.
Here are a few of the sayings that helped motivate the players into believing in themselves;
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” – unknown
“Ask not what your teammates can do for you; ask what you can do for your teammates.”
– Magic Johnson
“Champions keep playing until they get it right.” – Billie Jean King
“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way; if you don’t, you’ll find and excuse.” – unknown
If you say these statements to yourself and allow yourself to get excited about the meaning, your motivation will increase. When your motivation increases, you will do more, do it better and with more energy. Then you will see some success, which in turn increases your motivation, your energy and your desire to take actions. With more success comes more motivation, more energy, more action . . .
See what happens – all from a statement that you choose to internalize and get emotional about in a positive way. Many think that repeating positive phrases does nothing towards success. I know different and so does the team described above.
The power of doing this is in what it does to your thinking, then your feelings – that’s where the power is. If you are not experiencing what you want, your thinking is not supporting what you want, it can’t be any other way. By repeating a positive supportive phrase that is in alignment with what you want and who you want to be, you are essentially retraining your minds default thinking. Default thinking is those thoughts that just come up on their own, you can change that with better more supportive thoughts.
What statements can you come up with that support what you want?
What statements can you get intense feelings about?
Find them, read them, think about them, and imagine through them.
It starts with ‘I think I can’
As you make attempts with this mindset it will get easier to do and you will start to see more ways to align your thinking with the life direction or accomplishment you desire.
Many people involved with self improvement and personal growth give affirmations a thumbs down, actually saying they are worthless, but there are also many who give them the status of being the absolute key to success. So how do you look at something that is described as being at total opposite ends of the spectrum, from magic elixir of change to a useless waste of time?
I would like to inject some clarification into the topic of the usefulness of using affirmations in your self improvement efforts to change and further expand your life. The topic of affirmations is no different than any concept, there are two end of the spectrum which can be looked at. What I have found with most things there is a fine line in the middle between the two end which is where the value and power is found. And certainly with affirmations one can look at them from a perspective too far one way or the other.
Personal growth and development is an ongoing process and many people seeking to make changes in their lives know that any success comes from changing their thought. But also many find this to be not as straight forward as they thought. With the movie, “The Secret” the Law of Attraction has been brought out and embraced by many, but the movie actually is just a basic introduction on the Law of Attraction not a full blown ‘how to’ course.
Unfortunately many are left thinking that all they need to do is think their way into any success or new life experience. Managing your thinking is a large part of how you make changes but not all there is to it. It does not help that some teachers just do focus on the changing of your thought without delving any deeper. This basic part of The Law of Attraction deals with only your conscious thought, but does not get into the power your unconscious thought holds over your everyday thinking, feeling and behavior.Continue reading
Here in the US we have a new president as most know. We can hope that some new and different things can come as the result of this. Something that I noticed as being very interesting and positive is the comments I saw from many people when interviewed after the Inauguration.
I noticed how quite a few people said that now, since Obama being the first ‘black’ president, all things are possible. Now first, this is a good thing to see so many people have been able to allow their perspectives to change because of who has been elected.Continue reading
It is commonly stated that knowledge is power – well not exactly. Unless what you are looking for is a pat on the back for what you know, great, but by itself will not get you much more.
There is potential for power in having knowledge, but the mere possession of it does not cause any power packed action to take place. That’s our job, to take specific action based on the knowledge – this is where the power is! It’s not what you know that has power, but what you do with it. Continue reading
I received this message from my daughter, Jennifer earlier today and just thought that it was worth sharing with you. I’m not sure of the original source.
This is a beautiful and touching story —
I arrived at the address where someone had requested a taxi. I honked but no one came out. I honked again, nothing. So I walked to the door and knocked. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.Continue reading
With what is going on right now with the financial industry, housing, the stock market and the economy anxiety levels are running high. The more things appear uncertain, the more we can imagine ways they can be even worse, humans are creative creatures. And it seems we can imagine the negative quite easily. As we create more undesirable possibilities I our mind we have more to be fearful about.
This can snowball out of control when we collect our worries from several different areas at once, it can be overwhelming. We can feel totally out of control, which can bring on more anxiety by itself, bringing about emotional overload. When this happens we can cease to function in our normal way, giving the vast majority of our attention to all the worries and fears. Your behavior will change, to be more in following your thoughts and feelings. You will find yourself complaining a lot and not able to focus on accomplishing tasks which will increase your anxiety too.
We become consumed with it. As our thoughts are more focused on these fears, then on the anxiety itself, then on worry about being fearful and anxious it becomes a spiral you can’t overpower. You can feel like a beach ball caught in a hurricane being whirled around with no control. When you actually feel you have little to no control apathy can set in, which also will increase the anxiety.
So, you can see, this worry thing can become all encompassing if you allow it. And this is the key, if you allow it? Here’s the thing, any of the situations that you point to as the basis of your fears do not come with these feelings. In fact they come with no feelings at all, that is your doing. This is hard for many to accept but it’s true. Even when someone treats you badly, how you feel about it is all of your doing.
Yes, there are some very common reactions and feelings that you can have, but ultimately you have command over these. They are brought up from your unconscious programming automatically on cue, with out your conscious permission. Much of the reason you have these common reactions is that you tend to easily buy onto concepts and how to feel about when you see this exhibited by many others. You don’t realize how much of your inner programming was developed through modeling others. These common reactions and feelings are passed on by the masses without knowledge.
However, you don’t need to keep them in place. You can choose to have any reaction you want to something. So, back to your reactions to the fear, worry over the state of things in the economy, you don’t need to continue with them as you have. You can reduce or even eliminate them, thus the anxiety level drops as well.
The tough part is that right now it is much easier to fall prey to the negative news and your existing reactions than it is to take command of your thought and consciously consider other ways look at the situation and new interpretations that don’t include so much fear.
I would suggest not listening and reading current news as much as possible, stop allowing yourself to be continuously ‘prodded with a hot poker’ antagonizing your fears. The more news you get, the more this is reinforced. If you are directly involved in one of the problem areas, be concerned based on facts and look at what you can actually do about it, then take action. But just to worry is self destructive because it is based on fiction, choose not to get wrapped up in. And choose to not let yourself worry about anything you can’t do anything about.
Many try to find ways to eliminate anxiety without much success because you must actually look to changing what the anxiety builds on, in this case self chosen fears and related thoughts and feelings. All of these things going on, that you can’t personally do anything about, will evolve as they will with or without your feelings about them. Well, if anything, you will be mentally supporting them with your fear thoughts and even physically supporting them if your behavior follows suit. For example, if you get so fearful that you stop spending money as you normally do when there is no actual reason preventing it, you will be contributing to the economic slowdown. You surely don’t want to do that if you can help it.
Take mental and physical action:
Choose to take command of your thinking and analyze the situation.
Is your involvement in the situation causing your thoughts and feelings about it, or is it your fears about what could happen?
What are your perceptions of the situations, and how can they be changed to bring about different reactions?
What are your reactions, and must they be this way? How else can you react that would allow you to feel better?
Is there an actual personal involvement that you should be dealing with rationally, or are your actions being motivated by fear?
Choose to stay away from the constant bombardment of the news which just highlights the negative.
What can you do purposefully to keep yourself positive, upbeat and productive? Look for the good and create it.
The more you seek out why you think and feel as you do, the more you will understand, the more you can do something about it. When you change the way you look at these things, the way you see them will change, the way you react will change, the way you feel will change, the way you act will change and it’s all based on choice.
Make the choice to take command of your thinking, change it and the anxiety will dissipate.
The economy stinks. What will go sour next? I wonder what will happen? How can it get worse? What if it does get worse?
Are you anxious, uncertain and fearful? Most are. When major things happen we tend to get drug into them usually more than necessary. Now, if you have lost your job, your income has dropped because of the financial markets or the work you do has slowed, I understand that you have less available cash to spend. And I am sorry about your situation and wish to see you get back to normal for you soon.
What I want to address here is the fear and near panic millions are getting sucked into because of what is going on with the different financial problems. What is happening is that as millions of people buy into the mass fear and drastically change their normal spending habits. Based on their anxiety and fear of the unknown they want to hang on to as much money as possible.
So, then what happens? The flow of cash out in society slows way down even more. And guess what, more people will loose their jobs. Think about this, most of us work in businesses that sell things or services. So what happens when lots of people stop buying? Do you think everyone can keep their jobs when nothing is sold? No.
When lots of people stop going out to eat, what happens to the restaurant business? Have you ever thought about how many jobs your normal spending activity supports? I don’t know for sure but consider this. If a waiter/waitress handles about 6 to 10 tables in a restaurant, how many people have to stop going to eat there until the server looses their job. And when they loose their job, there is one more person who actually does not have the same spending power. And this job loss scenario is multiplied millions of times over very quickly.
The point is this. For those who are employed and are receiving regular paychecks I suggest that you keep your spending habits as much as normal as possible in order to prevent a further downturn in our economy. And this is really most people. Think about it, unemployment has risen to about 6 to 7 percent which means that over 95 percent of the population is still working. Now unemployment in the US generally runs about 4 to 5 percent when things appear to be running fairly smoothly. So right now, an additional 2 percent of the population is out of work. Sure a lot of people and I wish it wasn’t so, but should a 2 percent change in employment drive our economy?
Yes, I know there is a large group of people who rely on the investment world for their incomes and this is down, but still not the majority. And I am aware that the problems with housing and finance appear daunting, but are we allowing the tail to wag the dog? Our economy is based on cash flow. And cash flow is people spending to buy, not holding to worry. Your personal association with money for the most part is one of flow. It comes in to your possession as you earn and then goes out as you spend.
It’s the same with a business – in flow and outflow. And like anything that flows, it can be stopped at either end. A water hose can be shut off at the beginning or blocked at the outflow end. So it goes with cash flowing through you. So for the vast majority cash is flowing in just fine, but not flowing out. The result is, someone somewhere is not able to receive their in-flow because you have stopped it at your end.
The real power we have as humans is with our thought. We have the ability to take command of our thoughts and decide what they will predominately be. We don’t need to just follow all the bad news and react with fear. Just because it is the easiest way does not mean it is the best. Fear is made up in our mind, it is the great what if? – based on the worst. There is a law of the universe that states, ‘what you think about expands.’ So what are you allowing to expand?
This ‘crisis’ we are in right now is a perfect example of something expanding due to how much it is thought about. Look around, millions are holding on to their cash not because they have to but because their obsessive fear thinking has driven the motivation. And thus even more people are loosing their jobs making the real problem bigger. Then there really are more and more people with reduced spending ability, but not because of the original problems. And this just keeps cycling faster as the fear grows because more are loosing jobs, then fewer spend, more job loss, and so on.
This is happening right now! Those that are stopping the flow of cash throughout society are making things worse. Now it is in our hands. Real estate and the financial system has taken their hits and will gradually recover. And there is plenty of blame to throw out but that is not the point. How far we allow this to go down and how fast it comes back to normal is in our hands now. It’s in the hand of the people who really drive this economy, the spenders – all of us.
I challenge you to really consider your situation and decide if you truly need to reduce your spending, at least by the amount you have. Going back to your normal spending habits with be the ultimate service to the economy, which does help you personally. You have the ability to take command of your thinking and override the automatic fear thinking that creeps in so easily. This is because of past programming that you react as you do, but it does not mean that it is the only way or the best way. You can analyze your thoughts right now and choose to hold better more supportive thoughts.
If each do our part by continuing our normal spending habits as much as possible we can support a quick economic recovery without more backsliding. Like anything it’s a choice, your choice. I’m just clarifying it for you to help you make it. Choose to have your reason affect your thinking more than your anxiety.
Are you focusing your time and attention to the right things? Are you placing importance on the right thoughts, feelings and behaviors?
Did you know that for most people, much of what they do in life was not consciously chosen by them? And many times we have done these things for so long they now do seem important to us, but deep down they really are not. At least not as important as what truly is deeply important. This is because doing so requires us to take command of our thinking and analyze the state of our life. But letting our minds just run things is easier, efficient and more comfortable. Most people have not taken the time to discover what is truly important to them, life just kind of goes along with many seemingly important activities going on all the time. Your brain will ‘take care’ of you in it’s own way and understanding this is very helpful if you want any kind of change in your life.
When you put your attention to something you will see and experience more of it, you will think about it more and even expound on it. Have you ever become interested in a certain model of car from reading and pictures, and then in the next few days you all of a sudden see lots of them on the road as you are driving around, and you hadn’t really noticed many before? Now that you have placed some of your attention, and maybe with some heightened emotional feeling, into the car you want your mind will help you experience more of the same. Your mind is just doing it’s job, to help keep you as comfortable as possible, and make your life easier with patterns, habits and easily repeated behaviors.
When you understand the way your brain works you can better work with it to get and experience what you want. In this case, it is valuable to be aware of what your mind will tend to do automatically so that you understand that you must be purposefully proactive with your thought and attention. Your mind gets programmed through repetition to see and pay attention to what you have already paid attention to. So if you don’t consciously otherwise direct your thinking, your mind will normally keep replaying the same things you have already done and have experience with. This is makes life easier, you don’t have to ‘think’ about a lot of things.
This is why we can feel as though our life has just been going on by itself, because it is. Until you step in, taking command of your thought, and direct your thinking – it will remain as it was. Well actually not exactly the same, your mind will continue to help you expand and develop on the theme – good or bad! In addition, whatever your mind focuses on becomes more important to you. This importance does not differentiate between good or bad.
When you place your attention on anything, this is a command to your brain telling it what you want. So, your brain works to fulfill this. Now this can be anything, even what you don’t want, or a bad experience, or a fear – anything you have focused conscious attention on your brain will help you experience more of it. This is one reason why habits are so hard to break, you keep falling into routines and have the same reactions and feelings over and over.
What can be done about this? Your brain is performing as intended but you are stuck repeating many experiences you would rather not have anymore or you want something new and different. You need to consciously take command of your thinking and override the automatic aspects of your brain. This is where your true power resides, in your conscious command of your thoughts. Just because your brain throws out thought and defense of it does not mean you must follow this – your conscious thought is ultimately in control. It may not seem this way because you have become accustomed to allowing the brain to keep things going automatically, but you can step in and take command anytime you choose.
You may not even know your deepest desires even though they have likely popped up once in a while. You will need to take some time and give attention to discovering what is deeply most important to you, it may not be what you have thought is important. There are different ways to go about this, with most consisting of quieting your chattering mind talk and learning to be receptive to inner information coming up to the conscious level. Doing things like asking yourself questions about yourself and becoming receptive to answers may not be something you are accustomed to doing, so it may take time, patience and persistence realizing that you are really in charge of your thinking. Even adding this kind of activity into your day means that you will need to make time by replacing something already present.
There are a few factors to be aware of that can hamper your progress:
Your brain will attempt to defend the repeating thoughts, throwing out ‘mind chatter’ to dissuade you from your new thinking and actions.
There is more short term comfort in what you already know, even if it is very bad for you. Keep your vision on the long term intention and satisfaction, as a way to get by the desire for feeling good now.
You must remain persistent, more persistent than the brains need to protect what you are trying to displace. Utilize whatever tools and techniques you can to help yourself stay on track. Persistence reveals the winner!
When you begin to see what is truly most important, you will then want to start to change what you focus some of your time and attention to. In order for the new desired experience to come to fruition you will need to continuously give it attention and time in your day. It is like a seed that needs to be nurtured. As you do this your brain will help expound on this and gradually have it become part of the automatic norm for your life just as it has with what you experience now.
Remaining in focus with what you have now or with what you don’t want will only tell your brain to perpetuate it. The first and necessary step for anything to change is your taking command of your thought and choosing what you do want based on what is important to you, then focus on it even if your brain throws up resistance. It’s up to you to choose your priorities and tell your brain what you want to focus on, not the other way around. Your brain will follow your lead once you’ve established your athority over your thinking. Take charge of your life, utilize your true power, choose your thought and your priorities.