Jim Rohn says that "We become the average of the 5 people who we associate with the most".
With this in mind be conscious of who you associate with. Are these people modelling the behavior, attitude, and mindset that you are seeking? Are they going to help you to achieve your goals, your dreams, and your ambitions, or are they going to hold you back?
Sometimes we have to make decisions about friendships and associations that difficult. Always remember: Short term pain is often required for long term gain.
You can choose who you associate with so be intentional and surround yourself with people who will add value to you and encourage you to greatness.
In Napoleon Hill's book, Think and Grow Rich, chapter 2 is on Desire: "Wishing will not bring riches. But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches."
As I read this chapter again and again, this section stands out to me because it highlights that everything starts with the desire. You have to have desire to create a state of mind where desire becomes an obsession. You cannot set definite plans and follow through with persistence unless you have that burning desire.
What is your "why"? Is it big enough and clear enough to become your burning desire?
Decision making is something that we all have to do. We are faced with choices every day and the decisions we make influence the path our lives take. Granted, some decisions have less impact than others, but all decisions have an effect.
I wrote about impulse yesterday and left you with three words: Purpose, Vision, and Strategy. I use these three words for my decision making process and here is why:
Purpose: This is the reason for wanting to do something.
Vision: What do I want the outcome to look like, in other words, how will I measure it's success?
Strategy: Finally, when I have clear answers for purpose and vision, I will move onto working out how I can make it happen.
This process has helped me to slow down my decision making and as a result I am much more effective. We are too preoccupied with "efficiency" and I now replace this word with "Effectiveness" as it will ultimately result in things being done right first time, which is ultimately more efficient.
I have always been prone to act on impulse - often regretting my decision soon after.
An impulse is a sudden strong and unreflective urge or desire to act.The important word in this definition is unreflective - in other words a decision taken without thinking it through.
Impulse can also be described as a driving or motivating force; an impetus. In this context it is more positive acting as the "driving force" and keeping the momentum.
As I learn more about myself and continue to expand my thinking I realize that I need to take more time in making my decision as it will more likely to be the right one. I will leave you with these 3 words, which I will expand on tomorrow:
Everything starts with an idea.
Thomas Edison had an idea that he wanted to create something that would provide light, so he set about creating the incandescent light bulb. It may have taken him 10,000 attempts to succeed but it all started with his idea, which sparked his imagination.
Walt Disney had an idea to create a place where families could go together and enjoy time in a clean and fun place. This transmuted into Disneyland, and now several other theme parks across the globe.
What idea do you have and what is stopping you putting it into practice?
All great ideas were backed by a desire and carried out with a high level of persistence that took them to fruition and ultimately success.
"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul"
As human beings we have a natural skepticism around anything new that may appear a little risky or outlandish. I wonder why this is? In my own life I am conscious about turning this skepticism into a belief and faith in ideas that can be turned into reality by use of autosuggestion, as I have written about previously.
We have the power to influence our subconscious minds and by using this power we will be able to become the master of our fate. Fate is seen as similar to luck: a path that is written out for us and not something that we can change. I don't believe that is true, we all have the ability to influence this and make a difference, not only to ourselves, but to the world.
"The subconscious mind makes no distinction between constructive and destructive thought impulses. It works with the material we feed it, through our thought impulses. The subconscious mind will translate into reality a thought driven by fear just as readily as it will translate a thought driven by courage, or faith" - Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich
Our subconscious mind is a tremendously powerful thing and because it is subconscious we do not give it as much thought as we should. If we have a tendency to bemoan our "bad luck" or circumstances we will attract that which we are concentrating on - namely negativity and challenges.
It takes no more effort to be positive than it does to be negative so try it and see what a difference it makes to your life.
Today I share some more words from Napoleon Hill's fantastic book: Think and Grow Rich:
Remember, no more effort is required to aim high in life, to demand abundance and prosperity, than is required to accept misery and poverty.
Effort is required in order to achieve success. You don't get anything for nothing - fact! There does seem to be an element of entitlement is society today and people often bemoan their "luck" for not getting a break in life, but how much effort do they put in?
This is an old poem and remains relevant today:
I bargained with Life for a penny, and life would pay no more, however I begged at evening when I counted my scanty store.
For life is a just employer, he gives you what you ask, but once you have set the wages, why, you must bear the task.
I worked for a menials hire, only to learn, dismayed, that any wage I had asked of life, life would have willingly paid.
Auto-suggestion is the hypnotic or subconscious adoption of an idea that one has originated oneself, e.g. through repetition of verbal statements to oneself in order to change behavior.
As I study "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill I am finding out more and more about the art of autosuggestion. It isn't something that you can just use once, or even repeat several times and wait for it to come true. It isn't a new version of the Genie from the lamp who will grant your three wishes!
You need to have faith and a burning desire for what you want. Desire backed by faith, belief, and persistence are essential factors for the formula of autosuggestion to work.
What is gratification?
It is defined as: pleasure, especially when gained from the satisfaction of a desire.
Do you take time to think about your own gratification?
I started doing so and now it is a habit that I perform every day. Why? Because it reminds me that life is good and helps me through any periods of adversity.
Being grateful for what you have is not the same thing as settling though. I use it as fuel to help me be better every day. I am pursuing my dream and every day I get a little bit closer which means that I am living my dream - for that I am grateful.
The other benefit of reflecting on gratification is that it helps me to avoid complacency, of taking circumstances, and more importantly people I love, for granted.
Try it and let me know how you get on.