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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Visualize Your Dreams

Visualization can be one of the best methods I use to creat the success I want for myself. I visualize almost everything that I know I’m going to do in the future. The more I visualize, the closer I become to the outcome I want to achieve. Researchers have found that our brains use the same processes when we perform a task and when we visualizing ourselves performing. This process activates the creative subconscious and focuses the reticular activating system in our brains; we become more tuned in to opportunities that we hadn’t noticed before.

Visualizing your future and success can be manifested through visualizing exercises. It only takes 10-15 minutes a day to visualize the kind of life that you want to live. Be as detailed as you can when you visualize your goals: sounds, feelings, images. Leave no detail out. If you’re having difficulty visualizing, think about what zone you’re in, find some pictures to help the dream, or write out a list of things you want to be associated with your dream. The goal is to get you to think about your goals and dreams and to eventually manifest them into your subconscious.

When the manifestation begins to take root into your subconscious, a couple new experiences will occur. You’ll begin to develop an internal conflict between what your reality knows and what you’re subconscious wants. This discord strives for resolution, and with habitual visualization, you will give your subconscious permission to provide for a better reality. Striving for the better reality is what moves you closer to your goals and dreams. Your subconscious will create new solutions and ideas you’d never thought of before which in turn creates new levels of motivation to complete the small tasks to attain your goal!

 Practice visualizing what you want, what do you visualize when you begin to think about your goals? Visualize your dreams? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

 Pictures:

Visualize Success

Transmogrifier

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Find Your Happy Place

Being inspired and passionate is difficult and it’s not always on the tip of your tongue for you to share with the world nor is it necessarily present when you need it. It’s not possible to go out into the world with your mind and heart open for the world every time. There are going to be bad days, good days, and great days; learn from the bad days, share your good days, and fuel you passion on the great ones! The ebb and flow of opening your heart and mind is what allows you to grow. By opening up, you bring in the new knowledge and experience; but you have to allow them to close so that you can process them into new life stories. Eventually, you’ll open up a bit more each time and close a little bit less.

We each have different zones that help us do what we do. We have the office (productivity zone), home (decompression zone), vacation (relaxation zone), and my favorite place, the home-away-from home (inspiration/me zone). Each zone is a product of a state of mind that you create when you’re in the respective zone. When you go to work in the morning, you step into production mode because you have a list of things that need to be accomplished before you can call it a day. Home is the decompression zone because you can relax and unwind from the day’s productivity. Vacations are you’re time to relax, be with family and friends and not worry about having to produce. These zones are part of your daily, weekly, monthly, annual cycle and we transition efficiently enough between them.

The underappreciated zone is the inspiration/me zone. The most common excuse for avoiding this zone is “there’s just not enough time.” This is the zone that creates your dreams, you find your inspiration, and fuel your passion. This is where you open your heart and mind to find who you are. This is the core that drives the other zones to be the most effective. When you take time for yourself, you can establish how to utilize the other zones to move yourself closer to your dream. Your me zone needs to be place that you can imagine at any time, any place. For me, it’s Lake Tahoe. I can imagine it down to every detail: the distinct wind-chime in the breeze, the sun, the smell of the lake, and the indescribable sense of security.

My Me Zone. Our family home in South Lake Tahoe

Identify your zones, how do they fit together and which one dominates your life? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

Pictures:

Open Mind

Tahoe (my own)

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Ask and You Shall Receive

Asking questions is an underutilized skill that everybody has. It’s even more rare for you to ask for what you want. There is an inherent fear of asking because of rejection, sounding stupid or being embarrassed. So instead of asking, we predetermine the out come and reject ourselves before we even open our mouths (Hobbes).  When you ask for what you want or need, you really have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Jack Canfield offers 5 Tips for Asking:

  1. Ask as if you expect to get it.
  2. Assume you can
  3. Ask Someone who can give it to you.
  4. Be clear and specific.
  5. Ask Repeatedly.

Being clear and specific is the most important, in my opinion, because when you ask without being specific, people don’t know how to respond and if they do, it will not be to your expectations (because you didn’t clarify them!) . Vague requests produce vague results. Think about a time you asked for something and were no specific, what kind of results did you get? The value of specificity can be seen when asking for a raise. “I want a raise.” So you’re boss adds $1 to your check every week, but that’s not what you wanted. Because you were not specific with the amount of the raise, you got an unsatisfactory result. Next time, ask for an additional $500 a month. The most infamous vague result is the answer to life, the universe, and everything. The problem: they never actually determined what the question was.

Asking repeatedly is persistence, not annoyance. You may have received a no simply because the timing was wrong. The person who could give you the answer you wanted may have had numerous things going on at the time you asked, you may have more credibility the next time you ask, a better relationship (rapport), or better circumstances have made the possibility of a yes a new reality. Remember, you have nothing to lose!

Having nothing to lose when you ask a question is because you’re willing to risk rejection. Think of a time you were afraid to ask somebody a question, what kept you from asking? By taking the risk to ask, you could get a no, in which case you’re no better off than before you asked, but if you get a yes, you’re that much better off.

What keeps you from asking questions? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Share Your Dream, Commit to the Passion

There’s a lot to be said for sharing your dream with others. It can be a plethora of emotions and feelings for many different reasons. What keeps people from sharing them is the vulnerability and embarrassment that comes with your dreams (Marcia Wieder’s book is recommended). These emotions are difficult to overcome, without a doubt, but the continued practices from before will help you maintain your commitment to yourself to pursue your passion.

The urge to be embarrassed by your dream is common. You’ll assume it’s silly because others will think so. Their judgement of your dream should not be a factor for one simple reason: IT MATTERS TO YOU! Your life, your purpose, your passion, and dreams matter to you and that’s what matters. Nobody can take that away from you and you shouldn’t allow them to!

We’re all vulnerable in one way or another, whether we admit it or not. When it comes to pursuing our passions,  vulnerability comes from within when you’re not believing in yourself. This internal obstacle is a universal limiting factor. The inner voices comes in loud and clear: “You can’t do this…..and here’s why.” Imagine for a minute that you’re standing opposite a loved one. It can be a spouse, significant other, mother, brother, father as long as they are important to you and you know they’ll support you no matter what. Close your eyes. If you reach out in front of you, what do you get? Your inner voice is quiet and you can reach out knowing the other will grab your hand. Their love and support gives you the courage and willingness to put yourself out there.

Now imagine the same situation. But this time, nobody is there to grab your hand back. It’s lonely. This is the feeling that prevails when you allow your inner voice to succeed: “You can’t do this…and that’s why.” Following your passion and staying committed is possibly the hardest thing you’ll ever do. The constant self-doubt and limitless “What if” scenarios that we conceive from our subconscious is the ultimate saboteur. The practice of not taking it personally works well for when others don’t believe in you or think you’re “misguided” in your passion, but when those criticisms come from within, they’re not easily ignored.

Ignoring your inner critic can be one approach, but without dealing with it, it’ll always come back. Each time it does, its points will be all the more convincing because dreams and passions don’t happen overnight. This time around you’ll hear “See, you’ve done all this work and what do you have to show for it?” Instead of ignoring it, deal with it on a case-by-case basis. The balance between the No You Can’t and the Yes You Can is the reality in which we live. The beauty of reality is that it’s real! There are things you can do today to ensure that tomorrow is a possibility and a new possibility after that. Each piece of daily progress will eventually equate to the longterm success of realizing your dream by believing in your passion.

Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

Pictures:

Self Doubt

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Reality Check

I’m going to go back to my original question: Why are you here? My previous posts have centered around helping you find a sense of self by assessing the world around you so that you can begin to live a happier life. I’ve practiced what I’ve shared in previous posts – Blame/Complain, taking things personally, and not making wild assumptions about things and I have really made progress in understanding myself and leading a happier life. I’m not nearly where I want to be, but I understand that life is a marathon and not a sprint and each bit that I do today will result in long-term success.

Keeping the other pieces in your mind, there has to be a component that holds it all together. This essential part is to stand with your convictions and personal integrity (this one is about you). Everybody’s integrity is self defined and is very different. What I define as acceptable is different from everybody else. It doesn’t mean I’m more right or more wrong than you, it just means that I place my values on different things.

The things we say and do in life have an effect on our integrity whether we choose to acknowledge that fact or not. When we make the conscious effort to understand what we say and how we say them, it is easier to identify whether or not we are being true to ourselves. Its more profound and essential to stay in harmony with our integrity, than it is to do whatever is convenient at the time. The words we use to engage others are powerful because we use them to form agreements with people. When our intention aligns with our integrity to form an agreement, we move forward in a positive direction. It’s that feeling of accomplishment when we complete something of value that we wanted to obtain (that small section of the marathon that accumulates to long-term success).

When you’re not in alignment with your integrity, it’s detrimental to who you are as a person. When the use of your words are not rooted in your intent and integrity your agreements will have no value. This can be characterized by lying, gossip, arrogance, and resentment. The relationships and agreements that are built on these falsehoods are a house of cards waiting to crumble; and when it does, you don’t want to have to be alone.

Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

Pictures:

Reality Check

Truthful, Gentle, Fearless

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Assume Nothing

It’s not personal…

Making the leap to not take it personally is a big one. It won’t happen over night. But as you work on it, you’ll get better at it. The thing to remember is that the people you engage with have a story just like you do. They’re the culmination of their experiences and choices just like you are the culmination of all your experiences and choices. What gets you in trouble when you take things personally, is the process I call the Hobbes Paradigm (think of all the fantasy worlds Calvin was able to create because of his creation of Hobbes). This occurs because people have the tendency to fill in the blanks of a story with assumptions. So before you take it personally and respond:

DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS

How many times has your response been completely irrational because of some assumption you made about the situation? Be honest with yourself (we are our harshest critic) and really asses your response. If you took the poison pill: you took it personally, created assumptions about the why, and your outcome was a negative experience.

I’ve distinguished between two types of assumptions:

  1. Reasonable
  2. Hobbes Paradigm

The simple story filler is just that simple. Based on the evidence you observe, you can reasonably assume certain actions took place. These actions are rooted in reality and don’t continue beyond themselves. The paradigm assumption is rooted in the fantasy that you’ve created because of your perceptions. The creation of these assumptions know no bounds. They’re the ones that create the unnecessary internal conflict to justify another’s behavior. The internal dialogue typically consists of terms that deal with absolutes:

  • He must have known….
  • She knew what she was doing…
  • He knows better than that!

With these quick assumptions, you can begin to create an entire reality that’s not rooted in any truth because you have the need to justify and understand the behavior. Making assumptions is also a two-way street. The effects of an assumption can and will be amplified if the other person you are engaging with makes an assumption about you. You know the assumption they made is false about you, so you take it personally, and make another assumption about them because of an assumption they made about you! It can devolve very quickly, but only if you allow it to do so.

Not taking it personally and not making assumptions is a difficult process and it comes with practice. The next time you get the urge to become upset with somebody give it a try. Remember, it’s not about you, they could be making an assumption about you so don’t return the favor, and ask what’s going on. Find the problem and work toward a solution. Some will be more complicated and harder to solve but it’s a lot easier than holding a grudge!

Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below or follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

Pictures:

Hobbes

Freak Out

Fight

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

It’s Not Me, It’s You

Kudos if you get the reference!**

An important aspect to Taking Control of your life is keeping check with your emotions. This is a building block of the R from our equation: E + R = O. Your response to events and people will be based on an initial emotional response. Your response is your responsibility and it is everything when it comes to achieving the result you want. It’s also a way to live more peacefully.

The approach I take when dealing with the difficult people in life is simple:

DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY

Taking it personally opens you up to world to all kinds of problems. Taking everything personally is the poison pill that you take and expect harm on the messenger. I’m here to tell you that nothing that anybody else says or does has anything to do with you. For a moment, think of a time when you said something to somebody and they misinterpreted what you said and took offense or became upset. You know that you meant it in one way, and they took it another way. They took it personally and that’s on them. Same goes for when people talk to you or about you (they’ll guise it as a form of criticism) but remember it’s about them. It’s not your fault they don’t have 100% responsibility for their lives. The next time you get angry about the actions of another give it a try. Start with the simple things that get you angry: the guy who cut you off in traffic or when somebody says something negative about a family member or co-worker.

You can’t control others, but by not taking it personally, you are not giving others the ammunition they need to inflict harm on you (emotional or otherwise). The next step is to remove those people from your life. If they do not add value to you during your pursuit of being the best that you can be, then they are detracting you from your path. It sounds harsh, but it’s the Simple Truth. Surround yourself with the positive thinkers who share your passion for self-actualization. This new environment is the support you need to spur your innermost dreams. Dump the toxic people and the sooner the better.

Remember: Illegitimis non Carborundum! and Know Where Your Towel Is

Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below or follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

Pictures:

Don’t Panic!

I Like Your Hat

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2012 in Uncategorized