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Attitude 8 – I’m certain of my success

Attitude 8 – I’m certain of my success

What if you could be as certain about the future as you are about the past? To know for sure that the goals you have set for yourself will happen just as you have planned?  This 8th and final Attitude helps you to become 100% certain of the success that lies ahead of you.

Let’s re-visit the goals you set for yourself in relation to the first Attitude (‘I live my life on purpose’’).

What I want you to do now is to choose the goal which, when you achieve it, would make the biggest difference to you in your life right now. It’s important to select only one goal for now, so go for a big one! Once you are familiar with the process, you can use it for your other goals, too.

As always, make sure your goal is a SMART goal (i.e., specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed). In my personal view, the two most important factors are ‘achievable’ and ‘realistic’. While you want to really stretch yourself – otherwise it wouldn’t be a goal, would it?

At the same time your goal needs to be something that you have a realistic hope of attaining. This next activity is designed for you to answer questions to ensure that the goal you have chosen is a totally SMART goal.  The SMARTer we can make our goal, the more likely it is that we will achieve it so take the time to go through these questions…it’s well worth it.

Make sure you write your goal in the present tense, as if you have it now. If you write your goals in the future tense, they are more likely to stay in the future. The clearer you can be about what you’re aiming for, and the more specific you can be about your goal, the more achievable it becomes. There is a direct relationship between the specificity of your goal and its achievability.

It’s best to find a partner for this activity.  Do it in one go if you can.  Ask your partner to ask the questions clearly and to coach you through the process as quickly as possible. Ask him or her to write down your answers and give them to you after the exercise.

If you can’t summon up a partner, you can answer the questions yourself and write down the answers you come up with. It is very important to write the answers down because once you commit the details of your goal to paper, it becomes much more real.

  1. What specifically do you want? (checks that the goal is stated clearly)
  2. For what purpose do you want this goal? (checks that the goal is compelling)
  3. Where are you now in relation to your goal? (checks if you are close to achieving your goal, still some distance away or still at the start of the process. Wherever you are right now is fine.)
  4. What will you see, hear and feel when you have it? (creates a multi-sensory description that makes the goal more compelling)
  5. How will you know when you have it? (checks that it is measurable)
  6. What do you already have and what do you still need to obtain in order to achieve your outcome? (checks the resources required to achieve the goal)
  7. What will you gain or lose if you have it? (checks the impact of your goal on other areas of your life)

What did you notice happening to your goal as you went through that process? Most people find that their goal becomes much clearer, and they feel more committed to achieving it. The sensory description (i.e., what will you see, hear and feel when you have it) really attaches you to your goal.

Look at question number 7 in particular. This flushes out what is called ‘secondary gain’ in NLP. This question encourages you to think about what you might lose as well as gain when you achieve your goal.

For example, losing weight will help you to feel better about yourself, but you are likely to have to stop eating certain foods you like and start to exercise regularly.

It’s very important that consequences are acknowledged and addressed, because any internal conflict can cause you to give less than 100% commitment to your goal and you may end up compromising your own success.

These series of blogs have been intended to help you probe deeper into who you really are and what you want for yourself. By now I hope that you are much clearer about who that person is. The way to transform our lives is to learn to see ourselves for who we really are, and let our true selves flourish and grow.

Richard Beckhard, a change management consultant said that for change to occur, there needs to be sufficient motivational energy in the system under review. To discover if that energy is likely to be present, he came up with the ‘Change Equation’.

He said that change will occur if (stay calm and breathe …!):

(V x D x S) > F

This is where:

V =         Your vision for the future or your goals

D =         Your dissatisfaction with your current life

S =          Knowing how to take the ‘first practical steps’

F =          Your level of fear of doing something different

To put it in plain English, if you have compelling goals for the future, you are unhappy with your life and you are clear about what to do to take the initial steps toward, this will be enough to overcome any fear of change you experience. And, yes, your goals, dissatisfaction and knowledge need to be strong.

I created The Eight Attitudes to empower us all to leave a legacy to our children and families about faith and hope for the future, because they help us to be true to ourselves and believe in who we are.

Here’s to your wellbeing, health and a deeper joy in living your life.

[i] The following questions have been adapted from the original ‘Keys to an Achievable Outcomes’, developed by Tad James and Wyatt Woodsmall in the book Time Line Therapy and the Basis of Personality. 1989, Meta Publications

 

Attitude 7 – I take time for me

Attitude 7 – I take time for me

This Attitude is all about time. Do you embrace time as your friend or your enemy?

Are you someone who often says, ‘I don’t have time for this’? If you are someone who experiences time as a scarce commodity that there is never enough of, then you are creating a completely different personal reality from someone who perceives that they have all the time in the world. Your world is likely to be much more stressful.  Maybe you have even experienced some of the symptoms of stress such as breathlessness, panic attacks and high blood pressure.

Deepak Chopra, the world-famous Indian medical doctor and author, wrote of an Indian master, who explained his remarkably youthful appearance thus: ‘Most people spend their lives either in the past or the future, but my life is supremely concentrated in the present.’ This is because those who live in the past often suffer from guilt and those who worry about the future often suffer from anxiety.  Yet, if you live in the now you can focus on enjoying the moment, whatever you are doing.  This has a more relaxing impact on the body.

When life is concentrated in the present, it is most real, because the past and future are not impinging upon it. Only now exists. If you can free yourself from the guilt of the past or anxiety about the future a space is opened for a completely new experience – the moment of now. This activity is designed to give you an experience of now that is very likely to be outside of your normal ‘time-controlled’ way of being.  It sets up an enjoyment of each moment that is likely to be much more intense and enjoyable, and at the same time, more calming than you normally experience.

Activity: Living in the now

Choose a day when you are not pursuing your normal activities – maybe at the weekend or when you are away on holiday. Remove your watch and focus on putting all of your attention in the now.

Enjoy every moment.

It doesn’t matter what you choose to do – it may be time with the kids, friends or your partner. Equally, you may choose to spend time on your own. Whatever you decide, the important thing is to give that activity, person or people your full attention. Play at 100 per cent.

The really exciting thing to realise is that we can only experience now; never the past or the future. When you think of a childhood memory, you are not experiencing the past – but your perception of the past in the now.

The same goes for the future. If you imagine an event in the future, you are experiencing your perception of that event now. You can’t have a problem with your childhood, as that is past. You can, however, have a problem with your perception of it now. This is exciting for us as we can change our perception of events, past or future, in the now. This is because we choose our thoughts and so we can decide if we choose to feel miserable or happy about a past event in the now. This is a completely different way of considering time.  There is no absolute time or absolute memory.  We are dealing with our perceptions of time and events which can be changed.

The attitude you take towards time says something about you. For example, if you live your life constantly putting yourself under huge time pressures, you are more likely to develop health-related problems associated with stress. Even the word ‘deadline’ sounds threatening, as it contains the word ‘dead’. It implies that you’re in real trouble if you don’t deliver on time.

So what does this mean for you?  We are only on this planet for a relatively short time, so it’s important to use time as wisely as possible.   Please stop making excuses! You have the opportunity to create more ‘time for you’ whenever and wherever you choose.  Why not take control of time before it takes control of you? Truly make the most of every moment, and play it at 100 per cent. Let’s use time as if every day is our best day.

Activity: I Take Time for Me

Making time for YOU is one of the most important changes you can make this year.

    • What does it mean to you to invest time in yourself?
    • What would it take for you to give yourself permission to regularly take time out just for you?

Make a list of all the things you want to make more time for in your life and how you will create more time for each one.  For this activity, the only rule is that they must be things or activities for you alone.

For example, you might decide to go and enjoy a quiet coffee at the local coffee house on Saturday mornings while you read the paper, or go for a walk in the countryside on Sunday afternoons. They do not have to be expensive things; in fact, many of the most pleasurable activities can be done for free.

By this point in your life you have probably created many poor habits around the use of your time. Perhaps you have allowed yourself to be stretched in far too many directions with little or no time left for you.

Remember to:

  • Challenge your personal perception of time. Start focusing on having enough time to do what you want as opposed to never having enough time.  Life will immediately become less stressful! Live in the now rather than in the past or the future.  Stop wasting your energy ‘too late’ on the past or worrying ‘too early’ about the future
  • Do what is important rather than what you perceive to be urgent by setting ‘real’ as opposed to artificial priorities
  • Create more time for YOU and what you want to do….now is as good as any a moment to re-evaluate how you utilise time for yourself

Here’s to your success!