CHANGE YOUR LIFE, CHANGE YOUR MIND
There is a scene in Shrek where donkey is sent in the forest to find a plant with blue flowers and red thorns. We then watch him racing through the woodlands, repeating to himself..
“Blue flowers, red thorns”
“Blue flowers, red thorns”
Unfortunately for DonKey, he is colour blind and keeps rushing right by the blue flowers with red thorns without actually seeing them. As the scene shows from Donkey’s perspective, we see that all the flowers in the forest appear grey and bleak to him.
What Donkey experienced in the forest is similar to what happens to us if we have a limiting mind-set. Even though he was given very clear instructions, and he remembered them correctly (he even repeats it constantly), he was just unable to see the blue flowers with red thorns that were right under his nose!
A limiting mind-set can stop you from seeing opportunities that are right in front of you. It shapes your perspective which limits the realm of possibilities. A limiting mind-set can create rules and assumptions about life that are not necessarily true, but greatly limit a person’s potential.
These may be caused by three main reasons:
- You don’t believe the opportunity exists. Imagine running through the forest looking for a plant that you strongly believe doesn’t exist. Your mind will not let you see it.
- You believe the opportunities exist but that they are out of your reach. You may think that only persons with special privileges can find blue flowers with red thorns
- You have never seen this flower yourself, you have heard about it but you highly doubt that you can find it. You think it is so rare that the chance of you finding it is next to zero.
The very first and most important step in bringing about any lasting change in your life is to change your mind-set.
The human brain receives millions of messages every day and has between 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts passing through in any 24 hour period. So, clearly we have a lot going on upstairs. So much, in fact that our brain filters out some of that info and discards it without us even registering it.
Walk into a room, stand for 5 seconds. Walk out and try to remember 20 items you saw in the room. Quite possibly you cannot. The brain filters out what it sees as irrelevant information. It does this based on our beliefs, interests and biases.
After getting a positive pregnancy test, women suddenly start noticing other pregnant women everywhere. Did they just appear? No. The brain becomes biased towards pregnancy because it is now a personal interest.
So, how can we make more of these thought work for us instead of just randomly doing their own useless thing?
- Practice Managing Your Thoughts
You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes – everyday – This is a power you can cultivate – Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love.
Align your thoughts with your desires. Pull them in when they stray to undesirable, negative, limiting attitudes. Ever see someone walking a couple of dogs on several leashes? Who is in control, the dogs or the person? Each canine wants to go his own happy way, stop when they feel like it or chase a passing car. A good dog walker keeps each dog under control, reeling them in when they stray and get them moving when they stop. If he didn’t do this, they would never arrive at their destination.
Our thoughts require similar monitoring, managing and controlling. If you find yourself thinking you can’t accomplish something, shut that thought down. Replace it with something more positive, more encouraging such as “I may not be where I want to be right now, but I am certainly moving in that direction and will reach their one day”.
Instead of “I can’t do this”, think, “What is the best way to learn how to do this”?
My favourite thought challenge is from Robert Kyosaki, author or “Rich Dad Poor Dad”
Instead of “I can’t afford this”, he recommends asking, “What can I do so that by next year I will be able to afford this?” I call it reverse motivation.
2. Find Evidence to Challenge Your Thoughts
Read success stories of persons who have achieved goals that are similar to yours. Listen to motivational speeches and watch the videos. Surround yourself with persons, resources and materials that support your vision. Don’t alter to fit into your environment. Alter your environment to optimize accomplishing your goals.
“I don’t have enough money”, is a common limiting belief. Daymond John wrote an entire book called “The Power of Being Broke”. In fact, after going on to become a very successful angel investor (you gotta be pretty wealthy to be an angel investor FYI), he then started other businesses purposely using less cash than necessary. This is how strongly he believed that the less money a business had to start, the more creativity the person would have to use. And he rates creativity over capital.
Stop limiting yourself.
There is an answer to every question. There is a solution to every problem.
3. Do Your Own Research
Never depend on public opinion. People are trapped by their own limiting beliefs. Dealing with yours is enough without adopting the limiting beliefs of others.
Come up with your own ideas on a topic or subject or business idea based on the research you have done. There are persons who will swear that certain markets are saturated…yet. Another company drops a product, markets it differently and gets amazing result.
Do not limit yourself. Do not discard an idea merely because your neighbour thinks it is bad.
In fact, try to avoid the neighbours who tend to be on the negative side. There are some people who have already given up on their dreams; they are buried under their own limiting beliefs and they are ready and willing to crush yours. Doing your own research will allow you to have your own opinions and your voice is good enough. Don’t be too eager to get validation from others. You might be quite disappointed.
4. Focus Your Thoughts
The human potential is unlimited however our energy and time are very limited. With 24 set hours in a day and several tasks per day to complete, we must prioritize in order to achieve our goal. We will not be getting additional hours in a day to do it, neither are we getting extra energy. So, as we cut back on the distracting thoughts, we will have more brain power to dedicate to achieving what we really want.
“You have to become a little obsessed with your idea for it to work”
Like the pregnant woman who now sees other pregnant women everywhere around her, you are now going to see opportunities you never saw before. Inspiration will be a daily occurrence simply because a larger portion of your energy will be going towards the dream. You will begin to start ‘coincidentally’ bumping into people you can network with and share similar ideas with.
The universe does not like a vacuum. As you cut back on the distractions, more of what you desire will start to fall in place.
Now the Hard Part!
Motivation quotes tend to leave us feeling all mushy inside and warm and fuzzy. Social Media is proof that everyone likes a good motivational/inspirational quote. Yet, 98% of human beings live unfulfilled lives, unreached dreams (www.wealthresearchers.com)
The inspiration will come.
The opportunities will present themselves.
Your job is act on them.
Because nothing works until you do.
Don’t wait until everything is perfectly lined up. Don’t wait until all your duck are in a row. Life is a beautiful, messy, dynamic and unpredictable experience. If you wait on perfection, you will be waiting forever.
Challenging your thoughts is great. It helps you align your mind-set. Focus is awesome. It creates even more opportunities. But Action is where the magic happens. You always have the choice act in spite of your brain’s limited perceptions.
“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do”. – Leonardo da Vinci
24 hours in a day.
Unlimited human potential.
How will you use them?