1. Move Your Goal Posts
Do not wait till it is too late to realize your goals may simply be far too small, too mediocre or too vague to excite you very much. So many of us are afraid to set higher standards and higher goals for ourselves, so we aim low, satisfied with mediocrity. Setting easily achievable goals can never really excite us, because we know deep inside that in the end, our success is not enough for us. You may be able to fool the world, but you sure cannot fool yourself.
2. Discover Your Key
Find out what really galvanizes and excites you. When you know what button to press to get you enthusiastic, it is like discovering the key to making your life one long enchanting journey. So many of us do not really know what we want, nor appreciate the potential we have of finding permanent happiness. The wise men of all traditions tell us that the beginning of experiencing real happiness is to understand the true nature of happiness. Then only can we find the special key that will bring happiness to us.
3. Create A Vision
This is an excellent motivational tool. When you have a vision, your mind has something exciting to focus on and to look forward to. There is nothing more empowering! Create your vision now and refine your wishes as you think about how you can live your life in a fulfilling and rewarding way. Remember that creating a vision is not about what you want so much as how you can make your life excitingly meaningful. This is how yang energy comes to life – with thoughts that empower the road ahead with real meaning. When it is merely thinking about what you want, your thoughts will lack sustenance and strength; because what you want will change from month to month, and even from day to day. Making your life meaningful however is a lasting vision, which gets more stable as you think it through.
4. Practise Whole Brain Thinking
So many people I know wait for an awful crisis to erupt in their lives before forcing all their brain cells to get working overtime. Theirs is a life lived in reacting to circumstances. This is what is meant when someone describes a person as being reactive rather than proactive. Such people seldom, if ever, practise whole brain thinking. They use only one side of their brain. To them, creativity is an unknown word. They live with only one side of their brain activated, while the other side grows stagnant with stale chi. As a result, there is no music, no art, no frivolity in their lives. They are so serious, these people. They don’t know how to laugh. People like this cannot think with both sides of the brain, so something will always be lacking. From the start, train yourself to use your entire brain – both right and left sides, with the serious mingling with the joyous, the rational with the frivolous. Whole brain activity leads to creativity of the most wondrous kind.
5. Deprogram Your Negatives
From childhood, we may have been programmed to think so negatively about ourselves that when we do succeed, we negate our own success by denying it. If you are one of those who have been programmed in the negative, the best way to motivate yourself is to start the deprogramming exercise now. Don’t waste any more time. Bring yang chi into your psyche by discarding everything associated with the negative mindset. Everyday, tell yourself you are getting better and better at being positive, optimistic and happy. Program yourself with affirmations. Surround yourself with positive friends and discard everything that reminds you of the negatives in your life. Read motivational books. Use your mind to mentally discard all negative thoughts and then picture all these negatives flowing right out of you!
6. Embrace Your Willpower
Everyone has willpower. If you think you have no willpower, you are undermining your own success potential. You must believe you have it and you must welcome its presence as part of you. If someone said to you, “Let’s go climb Mount Everest,” what would your answer be? Would you laugh and say “Impossible!” And then go on to say how unfit, weak and lacking in stamina you are? These answers indicate a rejection of your willpower, undermining your potential to be strong, healthy and fit enough to climb Mount Everest. Think about this and you will realize that we all have it in us to do anything, including climb Mount Everest. If we want to do it badly enough, we can indeed generate the willpower to become strong and fit enough to do so.
7. Inspire Yourself With A Biography
Next time you feel the need for someone to give you a push and shake you out of lethargy, go in search of a well-written biography. There’s nothing more motivating than reading about someone’s hard-earned success story. The first time I read a biography, it was a book called Long Road To Freedom about Nelson Mandela. I had been given the book as a birthday gift and at that time, I knew little about the politics of South Africa and was certain I would be bored. How wrong I was. Nelson Mandela’s journey of peace and his determination to lead his people out of their awful state inspired me so much I have been reading biographies ever since. If you want to motivate yourself, find a worthwhile role model in a book, then watch yourself get strongly inspired.
Whenever you catch yourself brooding, worrying, feeling depressed about a situation or an outcome, recognize instantly that it is the negative side of you being dominant. Everyone has a negative side. This is nothing to be ashamed of. But if you want to strengthen yourself with powerful inner chi, start a debate with your dark side, making sure you win! Convince your mind how much better life looks when you see the bright side brought about by having an optimistic attitude. Build a case for being an idealist. List all the ways your mind and heart can expand as you open doors to all that is possible rather than close the door because you think everything you want to do is impossible.
9. Become A Hero / Heroine
Get used to playing the role of the conquering hero or heroine. This is what initiates success vibrations within you. Reject the role of the supporting or bit player. In your scheme of things, see yourself as the main player, as the star. When the inner consciousness gets used to thinking of itself this way, motivating oneself becomes a hugely satisfying exercise that gets built on over the years. You will find it much easier then to drive yourself into making the kinds of decisions and taking the kinds of action that will actualize this.
With every new day, challenge yourself and the strength of your determination. It is challenge that brings out the hidden skills and talents that lie asleep within you. Resist the urge to seek your comfort zones. When we give way to laziness and lethargy, it is easy to get buried in sloth. Comfort zones are for resting, not for living. Use comfort zone times to consciously relax so as to restore your inner energy. The body needs rest and so does the mind, but remember also to challenge yourself, striving all the time to improve, so the benchmarks you set yourself get harder. Train the energy that accompanies all your efforts with a sense of the positive. You will be surprised how good chi gets even better when stretched.
11. Turn Daydreaming Into A Mental Skill
Do not belittle your mental fantasies, they are the stuff of potential reality. Give your mind free rein to dream of all that you can be and all that you can do to bring fulfillment and meaning into your life. If you fantasize about being rich, think of how you can use all your wealth to benefit so many people. And if you want power, think of all the great things you would do to make the world a better place. When you fantasize, you are using your subconscious mind and thoughts to excite you and this will activate your inner capabilities, lighting up pathways inside your head that will lead to the stretching of your potential. In feng shui philosophy, we learn that it is the thinking that provokes the movement, which in turn wakes up the power of the tai chi - the coming together of yin and yang to activate the powerful whole.
12. Confront Your Fears
If you are harbouring deep-seated fears, the best way to overcome them is to confront them! Fear arises from feelings of inadequacy, of standing in awe of someone, of being rejected. To deal with them and not let them become obstacles on your journey to success, first admit these fears to yourself. Face them squarely and confront them. Secret fears often manifest as wild animals chasing you in a dream and you will be running away. Next time it happens, turn around and confront the wild animal. Likewise, each time you are afraid of anything, stop and face whatever is making you afraid. If you fear speaking in front of a group of people, force yourself to do it. If you fear being rejected by asking a girl out, just do it. Often, the reality of what you fear is
a lot less fearful than you expect.
Everyone of us has the capacity to be a genius. There is an Einstein lurking within our heads somewhere – if only we make an effort to find him! Let me tell you a true story. About ten years ago when my daughter Jennifer was still at school, she shared her dream of wanting to make it to Cambridge University with me. “It’s so hard to get in,” she said to me, “there are so many clever people wanting to get a place there.” I realised that arranging the feng shui of her room would not be enough. I had to convince her she could make it. I had to imbue her with some powerful inner feng shui – build her confidence and her belief in herself. So we went shopping for Einstein.
We found the most gorgeous painting of this genius along Bayswater Road in London on a Sunday morning on one of her exeats from school. I paid 200 pounds for the painting and then hung the painting above her bed in her room at school. “Each night as you sleep,” I told her, “Einstein will help you become so good in your Maths you will sail right through your A levels, and with a double A in Maths that should help you in your application to Cambridge”. So for two years, Einstein worked his magic for Jennifer. She scored A’s in 12 modules of A level Maths and gained a place at Cambridge. Here is the picture of our Einstein painting to help any one of you readers along who might want to use it the same way we did.
14. Paint Your Universe
Don’t go through life allowing others to control your aura and your environment. The key to enjoying excellent feng shui whether inner or outer is to take control of your surroundings, and by extension your life. Paint your own Universe. Create your canvas. Fill it with the colours and strokes of your choice. If you go through each day accepting what other people and circumstances splatter on your canvas, your painting (and your life) could well get ruined. How much better when you are in control, if not completely then at least partially. This is a freedom we all have. You only need to recognize it and you will begin to see that there are pots of paints in every hue and colour just waiting for you to make something of your life’s canvas.
15. Sing Even When You Don't Feel Like It
The best time to lift your voice in song is when you don’t feel like doing so. There is something truly magical about singing – it lifts the spirits like nothing else can. Even when you sing sad songs that move you to tears, it is incredibly cleansing, helping you pour out all the negatives inside your head. And when you sing happy songs, it creates bridges made of lights and moonbeams from your heart to your mind, infusing it with a brightness of spirit that will make even the most depressed and insecure of souls get up and dance. Next time someone asks you to sing, do so, even when you don’t feel like it.
Life can be a long, hard road of negativity if one is surrounded by pessimist friends who convince us how bad, ill equipped and weak we are. It is so much better to surround oneself with friends that raise us high, build us up, make us feel like we can do anything, climb any mountain, swim the deepest oceans. Friends who encourage you and nurture your inner chi are as precious as the brightest of gemstones. Hang on to them!
17. Create A Game Plan
If you want to work with passion and imbue your everyday life with a sense of purpose, it is a good idea to develop a game plan. When you have a game plan, your waking hours suddenly become more productive. Whatever you do then is instilled with a sense of purpose. There is then a road map to attaining success and a benchmark to evaluate your days. Creating a game plan also helps you establish vital signposts of attainments.
18. Talk to Yourself
The best way to program yourself positively and to rid yourself of debilitating negatives is to talk aloud to yourself. Write a script describing everything positive about yourself and then read it aloud. This should be an exercise in boosting your confidence, in making you feel good and in convincing yourself that you can be whatever you want to be. That there are simply no heights in the world you cannot attain. Each time you hear yourself saying anything pessimistic or derogatory, pinch yourself and loudly contradict it. Be careful what you subject your ears to. They believe everything they hear unless the mind actively tells them not to believe. So each time you talk to yourself, say positive, encouraging things. Use the same attitude towards others around you. In time, you will find that you criticize yourself and others less and less, thereby setting the stage for only good and positive things to come into your life.
The following article is taken from the "Feng Shui World (July/August 2005)". To subscribe, please click here.