B.E.T. (Behavior, Emotions, Thoughts) on Yourself today!

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Time and time again we may invest in something because we like the sound of it. It promises so much, investing money, time or whatever else there is to invest. We get excited for a while and then a few days into it, we hit a block, we struggle to seek the right advice or do the research we need to do to overcome the obstacles in front of us and we fail to commit. Commitment being the key word here. We sit with the fear and uncertainty of being ridiculed. There is an old Japanese saying; “Kikuwa ittoki-no haji, Kikanuwa matudai-no haji” meaning, “To ask a question is a shame of a moment. Not to ask the question is a shame (regret) that lasts for your whole (eternal) life.”

Remaining in the comfort zone of ones routine, and essentially the life one might despise is what we know, choosing to ignore the fact that we have the choice to move beyond that zone and into a more exciting and fulfilling zone that will give us everything we ever dreamed of or wanted. The key is to commit and focus on the life you want rather than the life you have created with your limited thoughts and perceptions, that were shaped by parents and society that knew no better way of assisting you in creating the mind first that would get you to where you want. It’s a shame that we are not taught in school the necessary skills that will shape our mind and lead our life to be what it is today.

Think about the way you think and the things that you focus on. Are they positive or negative? Are you able to lead yourself away from an uncomfortable emotion and re-channel your energy into a positive one? For most people this is a daily struggle, and quite frankly, most don’t even realize they are being led by festering mind that has become rotten with useless information that is transferred to us by the media and the likes. If you’re one of those people that keep searching for a way to change but keep falling into the trap of going being to your old ways I will ask you one question which I heard in a lecture made once by John Assaraf. He was asked once by someone:  “Are you interested in becoming a millionaire or are you committed to it?”.

So now I will ask you a similar question. Are you committed to change or are you simply interested? Change for you can mean anything, it can mean losing weight and getting fit, saving some money to go on that long awaited holiday, getting the dream job you have always wanted, or simply becoming a more organized person. The question is, how serious are you about this? Do you have mediocre feelings about this or are you ready to say, your life depends on it, or better yet, your children’s lives depend on it. Not your own, but your children. If you think about it, the way you live your life, if it is halfhearted or committed to all you do, the sad reality of this is that you are not only not living the life you want which may lead to regret, but you are also creating a prime example for your children on how they should think and live their lives. They don’t know any better and if you think they have their own minds to make up at some point you are sadly mistaken, because they will ultimately adopt the closest role model which they relate to and not necessarily the best one.

So how do you feel about this? What emotions are stirred inside of you? Stick with this for a minute and allow yourself to react. Does this realization lead you to feel shameful or upset in any way? If so, then this is a feeling you need to change. We are raised to feel inadequate or less than, not because we are, but because almost everyone is preoccupied with everything else rather than what is happening right now. As Pam Grout describes in her book E Squared about ‘A course in Miracles’; “Once you develop a thought system of any kind, you live by it, and teach it”. From a young age, while your mother breast fed you, the likelihood is that she was preoccupied with disciplining the other children. “Stop fighting with your brother Jenny!” Or “Ashley do your homework!” or perhaps she was simply thinking of all the things she had to do in the day. This unconsciously sent you a message that you were not enough. Because you were not being given the time you were entitled to be engaged with. Most mothers or caregivers have no idea that they are doing this and to be fair, you cannot blame them, because their mothers probably did the exact same thing. Or when picking you up from school or bathing you or the little time that was spent with you, was usually spent scolding you or correcting you, because there is always a better way. Of course there is. Children are always learning to better themselves, they can’t possibly know how to do everything perfectly from day one, otherwise everyone would be born the same age and die the same age. Don’t feel bad however, because most of the world was raised this way. It’s up to you now to take a REAL look at your life and create VALUE and appreciation where it is well deserved.

The first step you need to take and this is one not to be taken lightly is to simply commit. I say simply, because it really is that easy to make the decision to better your life. It’s much harder to watch your life going from wishy to washy and letting other people or factors control your life. It’s also far less rewarding. Once you have taken the first step and decide that you are all in, BET on yourself.

Behavior is the first step in this equation only because it is the easier to control than our emotions and thoughts. With this in mind, how we behave usually affects the way we think and feel. If we behave in a way that is consistent with our beliefs, then we are constantly standing up for ourselves or if you like cheering ourselves on in the game of life. When you allow other people to determine how you should behave, for example, you are asked by a colleague to help them with a project and you have your own deadline to meet in a few hours. You know you should say no but you feel guilty not to help. When you do help them even though you know you don’t have time, you are stomping on your own work ethic. A polite “give me a few hours and I will help you” would surely be appreciated. People appreciate honesty. You also allow them to do the right thing and avoid falling into the trap of feeling guilty when they find out you didn’t have time to help them to begin with. Another simple example is the clothing you wear, although this is not so much a behavior, it is an extension of who you believe you are.  Rappers wear their pants with their underwear half showing, lawyers tend to suit up, perhaps these are stereotypes, but we have created them and it makes sense that our attire will say a lot about who we are. When you look presentable, you will also feel good about yourself. A little something we tend to underappreciate. Dressing how you would like to be and behaving positively also reinforces the thought. So whether you think you are amazing, great and lovable or whatever aspect pf yourself you wish to place value on will most of the time be determined by what you wear and how you behave. When you behave in a way that is consistent to your beliefs you reinforce the emotions and thoughts that are associated with those actions. For the next few days take note of how you behave, when you are on your own or with others. Does it feel right? Is there something you wish you could change? You will notice that when you allow your attention to be placed on your behavior, you will automatically want to behave in a way that is consistent with your values. Behaving as though you are on auto-pilot will no longer be an option.

Emotions are the second part of this equation. Now it may seem more logical that thoughts should come before emotions but this is not the case. Our emotions usually determine our thoughts. When we feel down, we usually reinforce this with a thought such as, “I’m not good enough” or “I’m such a loser”, or ‘I can’t even cook a meal”. When we feel a certain way, our thoughts are influenced, which in turn affects the mood of our day. How many times have you woken up late for work only to find yourself stumping your toes everywhere and forgetting where you left your keys (https://www.facebook.com/fylaktiskeyholders/). If you take a moment in bed before rising whether you’re late or not, just to feel gratitude, stretch for a minute or so and smile to yourself (behavior) even if you feel groggy and don’t want to, you will find your mood will shift to one of positivity and your thoughts will also go something like, ‘okay, what have we got on the agenda for today?’, instead of ‘oh crap, I’m going to be late again” and a wave pool effect is created.

As discussed before your thoughts are determined by your emotions and your behaviors, and in truth these are all interlinked, like the chicken and the egg question. Which came before which? It’s not absolute that our behaviors affect our emotions and these our thoughts, in fact most would say your thoughts affect your emotions and in turn these your behavior. I like to look at things differently. It’s certain that most millionaires or famous sports players are not in the frame of mind they need to be 100% of the time. This is absolutely impossible. It is possible however to train yourself to be committed to altering your energy so that it does not affect your life or better yet, so that it affects your life positively. You’ve all heard the saying you are what you eat, or what you think you become, and whether you think you can or not, you’re right. Now I don’t know if these quotes go exactly like this, but you get the gist of what I am saying.

If you look at all therapies and all self-help books etc., every motivational speaker from NLP to hypnotism all talk about these three things with thoughts being at the core, because how we talk to ourselves is of the utmost importance. Learn to love yourself and speak to yourself consciously as though you were talking to your child or to a valued friend. You wouldn’t dream of talking down to them or insulting them now would you? Next time you find yourself talking to yourself in a derogatory manner, stop and just listen to yourself. Your ego will feel ashamed simply because it now has an audience; an audience who disapproves of scolding. Using positive self-talk will improve your mood. Who ever felt motivated by negativity or scolding? If your parents talk to you badly or your teachers punished you when you were young for not doing things, or doing things wrong, the only reason you would do whatever it was or try again, was because you probably felt ashamed or afraid. If you were steered on positively and coached in a manner that fostered kind loving emotions, you would probably try harder and be keener to attempt whatever it is you were trying to achieve. Keep this in mind next time you talk to yourself. If you find difficulty being positive when it comes to your inner child, try listening to some of Louis L Hay’s Inner Child meditation exercises. They can help improve the way you look at yourself to begin with.

References:

http://www.amazon.com/E-Squared-Do-It-Yourself-Experiments-Thoughts-Reality/dp/1401938906

http://mybrainandi.com/music-and-the-brain/#comment-110

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Who controls your mind?

 

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Who is in control of the world’s mind? Who holds the remote control? Is it God, is it the Media? Is it the Government in power? The idea of mind control is a huge subject. Are we in control of our own minds? Have a think about it. I would have to say that this has nothing to do with anyone else except for yourself. When I refer to mind control I am referring to you having absolute control of your own mind. For some this may be simple, however for most it surely is a vast challenge. This all begins with the notion of discipline for without having discipline, we cannot control our own minds, and when we cannot even control our minds, there is very little that we can control. We become puppets in a puppet show and at the end of it all, we will have nothing to show for it if we do not take control of the puppet strings. This usually leads to a variety of emotional issues that feed into the ego and affect our lives first and then the lives of those around us, mostly our children and our spouse. We can blame the media all we want, our parents, the economy, but the fact is, the result of our lives, usually stems from a lack of disciplining our own minds.

Each person comes into this world for a certain reason, or so most believe. Heck even if this is far from the truth, we at least owe it to ourselves and to those around us to be honest and true to ourselves firstly, to others and live life peacefully and happily. For the most part this means without conflict but it also requires one to live with a large degree of positivity, whilst providing purpose and value in our life. No single person was put on this earth, be it by God or by his own creation, to simply suck out the oxygen of the world and deprive the next person of this valuable element. Each person has worth and each has the right to live well.

There are only two ways to live life however: actively and passively. The world mostly caters for the latter and if you think about the way the world works, we are unconsciously designed to live passively. We are taught to use our brains from 9-5, during school hours, to come home and watch television, to hire help instead of organizing our own households. Even the way technology is progressing, everything is becoming one touch operated, making life simpler and easier, yet medical researchers have demonstrated over and over again that Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and various others illnesses develop as a result of inactivity of some parts of the brain. A recent study demonstrated with individuals with Parkinson’s, after riding bicycles the effects of the disease were lessened to a great extent. Something in the activity of riding a bicycle obviously triggers parts in the brain which gives it the ability to cope better. It is also well known that by keeping our minds active and taking different routes to work every day, basically stimulating the brain daily somehow prolongs Alzheimer’s if it is to occur. The key is to avoid living life on autopilot and to actively engage and BE AWARE AND PRESENT in EVERYTHING THAT WE DO.

 

The effects of social media unfortunately are hugely debilitating since they keep us plastered to a chair, passively roaming the net, or watching sitcoms for hours on end without the thought of things we need to be doing in order to attain the life we want. On the other hand we work all day for someone else and when we finally have time for ourselves and our families, we ‘choose’ to switch off because it is easier since we are drained from devoting all of ourselves to someone else and this mentality erases the desire to give 100% to ourselves as well. There is a way we can conquer this however if we take Rich Dad Poor Dad’s advice and work for others as though we are working for ourselves, because in truth we are, however we devalue ourselves to such a degree that the only value we give ourselves, is the amount of the paycheck we receive at the end of each month.

We no longer memorize cellphone numbers, because our phones store these for us. Data is saved on computers and we know exactly where to access them. Now of course it is futile to memorize every number and recipe and is also virtually impossible to know everything there is to know that google provides the answer to, but keeping our mind active and engaged most of the time makes life so much more rewarding. We get stuck on Facebook watching what everyone else is doing, admiring, and pretty much wasting precious time which will NOT be returned to us. Time lost is forever gone and there is nothing you can do to get the minutes, hours and days back which you consciously chucked away. Yes sleep and resting is a wonderful and necessary part of life, but sleeping those 15 minutes extra in the morning is really not going to make such a huge difference. So unless you are a first time mother and seriously sleep deprived, SLEEP IS FOR THE DEAD!

When you aware and actively involved in your life as opposed to being a passive bystander taking orders, life takes a new and far more fulfilling role. You see things and hear things that you may never have noticed before. Your antennae’s are up and even opportunities that you would have normally missed you are now open to. Everything becomes a challenge because you now care, whereas before you may have only given precedence to things that affected you immediately or so you thought. In truth, everything that surrounds you affects you whether you grasp this concept or not. When you switch modes, you will find you have far more energy even for activities you previously loathed to do. Eckhart Tolle’s The power of Now does a brilliant job of bringing you into the present, making you aware of what you are and have right now, assisting you to focus on what’s important rather than dwindle away with the majority of the world.

If you are having trouble switching modes, there are so many resources that can help you get back on the right track, even if you feel you have never been on the right track. The key factor however is in making the Choice. You have to Choose to be in control of your own mind. There are no ifs buts or maybes about this. No Halfway houses or halfhearted attempts, because if that is how it’s going to be, I promise you now, you will never change your life and you will always be stuck on that one-way street, looking back at the end of it all and feeling hopelessly defeated. The wonderful thing is, that everyone, no matter how defeated, how worthless you may feel, how many years you feel you have wasted, whether you are retired or at the start of your life, there is always a second, or third or fifth chance. You can choose not to turn yourself away, even if the rest of the world seems to have done so. You can make the decision to start fresh, no matter where you are in life, and take your mind into your own hands. Once you wholeheartedly make the choice to never look back, you can begin to take real control and your life will begin to unfold before your very eyes. Make the choice today. It’s that simple. And no, I don’t have the answers for you, for we each carve out our own road to success. Only you know what you need for your life to be what you want it to be. Ultimately, we all know, we simply have to choose.

 

 

The beginning of Chooseday…

 

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From day one, I knew there was something greater and stronger beyond me. I didn’t have anyone particularly tell me or guide me into this knowing that there was something far greater beyond us when we die. I just knew. Perhaps it was the guilt factor that played a role or the fact that we went to church and didn’t understand much, but even in those hours we spent going to church listening to the preacher preach in an ancient language, something profound was definitely communicated.

I went through life knowing that this life was simply material, and yet through my teens I placed so much emphasis on beauty and the outward appearance. I had a low self-esteem, though I knew I was loved unconditionally, there was something that was always missing. Perhaps it was just the confidence and the faith to be myself as God intended me to be, that was lacking. Though I always knew there was something great for me to do or to be, I always tended to shy away from the limelight to give others the space to shine, ironic since I wanted to become an actress. This resulted in me abandoning my dreams of becoming an actress and a writer and leaning toward a career in psychology, where I hoped to assist young minds in becoming all they could be, without the looming terrorist of low self-esteem lurking in their minds.

I tried again at university to pursue this purpose. It seemed I think to others that I had it all together, but deep down, something always told me, why should I be so special to guide the minds and the hearts of others. My fear engulfed me and although I stepped in with one foot, I never fully took the necessary leap to pursue this career completely. I held back, for fear that I was not good enough, and for fear that I may do more damage than good. It didn’t occur to me that those children that would come to me were far more damaged than I would realize and that a little love and support would go a long way, either way.

Cringing from the life I knew that was intended for me, I conformed. I became a mother and a wife, leaning towards careers that involved finances and chose to stay away from others issues in the hope that I would come closer to my own issues and hopefully cleanse my soul of the mud that I had dragged my mind and soul through. To my shock and horror, the further I got away from the helping career, the more distant I became from myself. I became once more the anger driven, cold hearted and determined woman that lacked focus on clarity on compassion on love. The positive person I had become had been demoted to a worry filled anxious wife and mother who not only drained herself but those around her. I had become unrecognizable to myself.  I was on my knees again financially, spiritually and was once again lifeless. The exhaustion of my mental state screamed through my body and I knew that if I did not do something to alter my state of mind and lifestyle, then the downward spiral would slowly destroy first and foremost my family, my children and disease would surely captivate my body as it does so many who are at unease with the lives they lead.

Thinking of ways to alter my lifestyle I began to pray, but prayer offered me only momentary comfort. I still felt unworthy of His Love. I began to think that perhaps it was my state that was affecting my husband and that this was perhaps one of the reasons he was so often out of work. I blamed him for so long for not being able to sell his work but had never considered that perhaps we were both on a path that separated us and that this caused greater harm to each of us individually. I got involved with so many internet marketing businesses, and began writing and promoting everything there was. I must have purchased over twenty promise filled life altering guru and energy healing psychobabble possible in the hope that my life would be altered. I knew however deep down that the truth was deep within me. That nothing would change if I did not devote myself to a life of purpose and love. God would not help me if I did not help myself. I had heard this quote so many times and had used it with others time and again repeatedly but never truly grasped the reality of what it meant. «God helps those who help themselves». The words rung through me like a loud ringing church bell. Yes he gives you the tools and promises support but never once does He  promise to do it all for you! He chases you with nagging voices and provides you with instinct to follow your purpose, He may even hold your hand through the difficult and trying times, but He cannot walk you through the door. Your legs are the ones that need to do the walking.  When your faith is low, He offers comfort and solace and tells you to come to him. He provides a corner and a moment to cry. Heck He even allows for a little self-pity, but there is a time when he nags you to take action against this sluggish falsifying and pitiful misery and He calls to you to come out of it.

There were so many times I heard this nagging resounding in my ears. The bed was too comfortable or a 9-5 job was too comfortable. Just the security of it all, and not having to move out of my comfort zone was far too soft and cushy. Friends and family offered opportunities that screamed purpose, but my heart was never there. Fear devoured me like a wolf devours sheep. I couldn’t shake the feeling. One thing I admit to, was my role as a woman. I felt responsible for so many other things that it was as if I would be taking away the breadwinning role from my husband. I didn’t want to shine, so that he could shine. What I didn’t realize however, was that by debilitating myself in this way, I was weakening the relationship. Being the best you, you can be is so much more attractive to the opposite sex. I knew this. Not only does it inspire those around you to follow their dreams, but it also opens up a whole new world of attraction that is based on pure love.

I had two weeks to go to giving birth to our child and only then was I beginning to feel as if something had to give. Things were looking desperate and perhaps this was my reason for climbing into this mode. I had my daughter at home sick with me so my time was limited. I slept far more simply to sleep with her in the hope that she would recover soon and return to school so that I could continue to find my purpose. Things just got worse however as the days progressed and I realized the more desperate I was, the less productive I was being. Time was no longer on my side. I had to do something. To change my behavior and attitude towards life and my family. I had to renew the essence of life. I had to reinvent my «joie de vivre!», and so it began!

I began with a strategy and called it Chooseday 🙂 Today I am happier, healthier and far more inspired by the little things in life.

 

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