Uncomfortable Success

November 5, 2012

Ah, the comfort zone. Everyone craves it. It’s just the way we are wired. There are not many things better than comfortably enjoying the goodness of life. Everything is better when we are comfortable, right?

Be careful before you answer that question. I agree that I would much rather be comfortable than not. The potential problem is that sometimes people become too comfortable. As a result, they don’t try new things, take risks, or seek new challenges. As a result, life becomes stagnant, and people don’t progress as far as they would like.

You may ask…how do I change this? After all, it is difficult to come out of my comfort zone. This is true. It is sometimes very dificult. Why is that? It’s because of the set-up of our subconscious mind. Your subconscious tries to set things up so that you reach and live in that comfort zone. This comfort zone is the truth that you have come to know. Your subconscious doesn’t like when something goes against this truth. Sometimes this truth is that you can only handle the job that you currently have, no matter how difficult it is or how much you dislike it. Sometimes this truth is that you cannot be a positive partner in a relationship. Sometimes this truth is that you cannot reach the weight you are seeking. Or that you can only a reach a certain level of income. Or…this list can go on and on.

So how does one defeat this cycle and change the truth? It’s a matter of telling your subconscious a different story to create a new truth. There are three main ways to do this. One is by positive affirmations. Tell yourself a new truth. Tell yourself that you can and will reach your goals. Second, is to visualize the success you are craving. It’s amazing that your subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between a real or imagined event. The more it sees the positive pictures you create, the more it believes it as being true. Third and most important is to take action. You need to do things that are outside of your comfort zone. As mentioned, this is difficult at first. However, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. For me, I always had difficulty speaking in front of crowds. I didn’t think I was an effective speaker. However, because of my college major of Communications and the radio field I wished to enter, I was forced to speak in front of people on a regular basis. As I did it, it became easier. I actually began to enjoy it. I spent several years in radio. Now, I confidently speak in front of students everyday as a teacher. I always loved to write. However, it was usually just for me. The prospect of blogging caught my attention, but I held back because I doubted that anyone would be interested in what I would have to say. Still, I came away from the comfort zone. Now I am lucky enough to receive positive responses from hundreds of readers on various blog sites. It would have never happened if I would not have stepped away from the comfort zone.

I have recently been challenged, and I relay this challenge to you. Every day, do at least one thing (or even more) that is outside of your comfort zone. Anything from trying a new food, a new outfit, a new sport/activity, or doing something that you’ve been holding back on for a long time. This type of action on a regular basis will take you steps ahead of where you are now. Your subconscious will ultimately find and create those new truths that you are seeking. You will reach your goals faster, and create success in all areas of your life.

The bottom line is this…It is ok to enjoy comfort and the good things in life. However, you cannot avoid straying from that comfort zone that has been created. Take some chances and seek new challenges. You can and will meet them, and your life will be taken to a higher level. That’s something you can be very comfortable with. Enjoy the blessings : )


The Power Of Down Time

October 29, 2011

Today is one of those Saturdays where there is really not much going on. It’s unseaonably cold, and there are no major plans going on. Sure, I can think of things to do around the house, or do some shopping, but I am not very motivated to do work today.

Is this a bad thing? Should I feel guilty when I am not active? I could run into problems if I felt like this every day. However, I am beginning to see the importance of spending time in limited action. In fact, I have seen the importance of taking a bit of time each day to just stop and take advantage of some down time. Here are some advantages to down time:

  • It’s a time to get your thoughts together. The life we experience externally is a result of what our thoughts are like. We need quiet time to gather and control our thoughts. Then we need the time to create positive ones, imagine ideal situations, and affirm success to ourselves. It is also helpful, and I believe necessary, to pray and meditate on things things.
  • Upon getting our thoughts in line, it is easier to develop plans of action when things are quiet and we are not stressed. Faith and focused action is a force that no one can defeat. When we have both going for us, we are victorious in every situation.
  • Better relationships. When I have had my fill of me time in a state of relaxation, I am much more willing and able to go out of my way for others. In fact, I will say that we cannot be our best for others if we cannot first be our best selves. In order to be our best selves, we need our share of down time.

These are just some advantages of down time. It is just so helpful to take advantage of times like this. Jesus Himself even stressed this, and how it helps us focus on the right things. In Luke 10 there is a story about how Jesus was going to visit two friends who were sisters. When He arrived, one was doing all the work, while the other was doing nothing but sitting and listening to Jesus’s words. The working sister complained to Jesus..”aren’t you going to say something to my sister? Im doing all of the work while she is just sitting there”. The funny thing is she doesn’t get the answer she expects. Instead of criticizing, Jesus instead commends the “sitting” sister for focusing on the right thing (Him and His words) and not letting other distractions get in the way.

Can you relate? If a famous person were coming to your house, what would you do? Would you relax and enjoy the moment of this special time, or would you be stressed because of the things that had to get done and let that replace the enjoyment?

According to the divine word above, we have every right to enjoy down time so we can focus on the priorities and the right things. It’s totally ok, as long as we don’t use the time to replace other times where we are prompted and inspired to act. Whenever you get the chance, even if it’s for a short time, please take advantage of some down time to think beautiful things, and get your mind and body in order. It will have extreme benefits when the time to act arrives.

Enjoy the blessings : )

 


Powerful Self-Talk

October 19, 2011

It’s a beautiful day Joe, isn’t it. Yes, it’s an incredible blessing and…

Oops! I admit it. You caught me talking to myself again. Come on, admit it. You do it too. I would guess that many of us spend some time talking to ourselves.

My philosophy is, as long as we are going to talk to ourself, let us tell ourselves great things. We are incredible beings. We all have many positive attributes and plenty of great quality to offer to those around us. It is important that we remind ourselves of this fact. We need to spend time each day reminding ourselves of these positive qualities. Repeat to yourself how healthy you are; how good of a worker you are; how good of a friend you are; how successful you are. Simply tell yourself whatever you want to hear.

The fact is that your mind believes what it hears. Unfortunately, many people have low self-esteem because they’ve listened to  the negative things people have told them. For example, they’ve been told that they are not smart enough or good enough. As a result, they start believing it and living it out. The same is true for the positives. A young person may not believe he is a good artist, athlete, student, or whatever, but if enough people tell him that he is, he will eventually believe it, and his talents will flourish. It is also true that the mind does not consider where the information comes from. It doesn’t matter if it comes from someone else or from ourself. If it hears something enough, it believes it. We can control this by feeding our mind with positive information. If I tell myself that I am healthy and attractive, I will believe it and act accordingly. If I tell myself I am an excellent teacher, I will believe it, and my performance will reflect this faith. If I tell myself I am an excellent husband and father, I will believe it, and my mind will force my actions to back it up. That’s simply how the subconscious mind works.

Remember that the mind believes what it hears on a continuous basis. Knowing this, and the fact that we all talk to ourselves anyway, let us tell ourselves great things. As a result, we will live our lives with more confidence and joy, and we can effectively assist and positively impact those around us. Talk to yourself in a positive way. Your mind will listen and lead you to greatness. Enjoy the blessings : )