I am successful in everything I have set my mind to – both good and bad. These are the 4 tips to achieve your goals that I’ve learned over the course of 30 years.
These 4 things have helped me achieve every goal that I have set. I know that I’m not a giant in any field, but I do think that tactics for success should be shared by everyone if they have a system for achieving their goals. The 4 things are self-image, understanding the subconscious & conscious, beating procrastination, & pain/suffering.
I have a mental image of every facet of my life (money, health, marriage, happiness, etc.) That self-image has been created within the first 7 years of my life by external sources (parents, friends, experiences, learning, etc.) Everything that we think about money, relationships, the kind of job we “should” go into, whether or not we can swim, fears, etc., have been pre-programmed. Because of this, our self-image dictates what things we will let into our lives, keep out, how we perceive our surroundings, and how we put knowledge into action. You cannot go against your self-image. An example of this is people who lose a lot of weight only to gain it back, because they still have a self-image of being fat, even when the facts of a new fit body go against it, and that person will stop exercising and eat crappy food to mold themselves back into the unchanged self-image of an overweight self. The same goes for being poor. If you have a self-image that “I will never get above $300 in my checking account because I’m always poor,” you will make decisions that will adjust reality to your self-image of poverty. To have a new life, you must change your self-image, but how? In comes the subconscious & conscious.
Understanding the subconscious & conscious
We run on auto-pilot throughout most of the day. It’s a fact of everyone on the planet. When you learn to drive a car, you are very aware of everything that you are doing and aware of your surroundings, but when you’ve mastered the art of driving, you are on auto-pilot. You think of where you want to go, turn on the ignition and your pre-programmed, subconscious tells your body what to do to achieve your goal. The same goes for every facet of your life. You work everything via your pre-programmed information that you learned earlier, which is housed in your subconscious, and the ONLY way to change that programming is to be in your conscious mind. So, if you want to change your self-image, you must be conscious when you are making decisions/actions that lead you to your goal. You must consciously imagine yourself achieving a goal. For me, before I sing, I mentally visualize myself standing in the venue I will perform, hear myself singing the song perfectly, feel my body as it gives gestures and facial expressions to emphasize the song, hear how the voice reverberates in the venue, etc. I make the visualization as detailed and believable as possible, then my body will react to reproduce the new self-image of a perfect performance, achieved by my conscious effort to add subconscious programming. In the area of singing, this has worked every time and I dedicate 90 percent of my practice towards visualization and only 10 percent towards actual practice. In order to change your life in any area, you must first be aware that your present course is leading you away from your desired outcome, then make a conscious choice to create a new self-image, thus re-writing your pre-programming found in your subconscious. This takes time and you will find yourself procrastinating this important task, but you can beat procrastination quickly and simply with this quick step.
One day, about 15 years ago, I had to get up at the god awful time of 4 a.m. When the alarm went off, I hit the snooze button. I knew I had to get up, but I was so comfortable under the covers. I knew that if I didn’t get up soon, I would be late for a job, thus making my supervisor mad, but I didn’t care, I was comfortable. Nine minutes later, when the alarm went off again, I was still tired and still comfortable, but I did something different, I verbally commanded myself to “get up,” and you know what, I quickly got out of bed. I didn’t think too much about that “miracle” at the time, but I’ve had several years to ponder what I did and have since implemented this tactic of “verbal commands” into beating procrastination. In a nutshell, everyone’s brain doesn’t want to do anything that will be “uncomfortable.” We all want to stay in our proverbial sweet spot under the covers, even if it means that the consequences will not favor a desired positive outcome that achieves a goal, and in my case, achieving the goal of getting to a job on time. I have since found out that when I (and we) procrastinate, it’s our brain’s way of keeping us from what it considers pain. For the first few seconds, I hated getting up, but I powered through that feeling and it went away. Basically, when your brain tells you to do something to achieve a goal for your new self-image, you have about 4 to 7 seconds to begin a task, otherwise, you will make excuses to remain comfortable and pain-free. Putting in the audible verbal commands (for me, it was “get up!”) in that time creates a “set point” where the brain stops making excuses and you have time to follow through on your verbal command. This tactic can be used to achieve any goal, as achieving a goal is accomplishing small, individual tasks. You can use your own commands to get yourself to the gym, eat right, stop stupid fights, and a host of other things where procrastination or other destructive patterns come into play. It works every time and will help you achieve your goals so that you attain the new self-image of a perfect life, but there will be some pain and suffering involved, but this is what I’ve learned about that.
Pain & suffering
I’ve often marveled at my wife’s ability to play the piano. Not only can she read some very complex music without much effort, but she can also play by ear at the same level. My area is singing, but I’ve often wished that I could accompany myself, so I decided that I would learn to play the piano. I sat down and began to visualize the end goal, me playing and singing a piece of music in front of people. I did this for several days, but nothing. To this day, I still can’t play the piano. It wasn’t that I couldn’t, but it was that, deep down, I really didn’t’ want to put in the time and effort to achieve that skill. I loved putting into play the image of the end goal while going over the very real part of practice that would have been required to attain that particular goal. I could see plainly my performance, but didn’t want to see what I would have to give up, which was time, to get to that point. Pain, discomfort & suffering will be experienced if you want to achieve any goal and the degree to which you will experience those things increase in direct proportion to the level of the goal – no exceptions. When I verbally commanded myself to get up, there were a few seconds where it was quite horrible to be out from underneath the covers, but I powered through and got up – that was a tiny goal. I’m a singer and I, at the age of 50, can sing quite well, with power and control. This goal was achieved through decades of practice, encountering massive amounts of frustration and anger at not being able to have the voice I wanted – but I powered through those times and I have a voice that I’ve used to make quite a bit of money for myself and my family. Pain and suffering go with the territory of achieving a goal, and if you are not willing to acknowledge that and go through it, you really don’t want “it” in your life. It’s not a perpetual thing, as it may only last for a season, but pain & suffering will be there – but it’s totally worth it in the end.
On each of these points, I’ve tried to condense them down to their most essential concepts. There’s a whole lot more that could be expanded upon in each area, but I think you’ve got the picture. Each point is nothing new and many speakers, books, videos, podcasts have talked about all of these in their own ways. You can change your life. Explore the reasons why you don’t have an abundant life and work to change those areas you are unsatisfied. You do not have to suffer just because someone has told you that or you have it in your head that “hey, that’s life.” I hope this helps in the direction you want to take.