How many of us believe that it is the things that happen to us and the events of our pasts that control our lives, futures and shape who we are today? It’s not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs and interpretations in our minds as to what those events mean that truly have the power to destroy or to make us.
You see, its never about the environment; its never the events of our lives, but the meaning we attach to the events – how we interpret them – that shapes we who are today, and who we’ll become tomorrow. Beliefs are what make the difference between a lifetime of joyous contribution and one of misery and devastation. We need to remember that most of our beliefs are generalisations about our past, based on our interpretations of painful or pleasurable experiences. Most of us don’t consciously decide what were going to believe – often our beliefs are based on misinterpretation of past experiences and once we adopt a belief we rarely question them. Worringly enough, beliefs have the power to literally create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take an experience of their lives and create a a meaning that either disempowers them or saves their lives.
We need to remember that how we deal with adversity and challenges will shape our lives more than almost anything else. The past doesn’t equal our future. If we each develop a sense of understanding of the power that positive beliefs provide, then we can have ourselves accomplish virtually anything, including things that most of the population are certain are impossible.
(This is one of the many motivational posters I have hanging on my bedroom wall – there can never be enough reminders of what CAN be accomplished)
(The view from my bed when I wake up. I love this scene – just another beautiful reminder! Its also so important to repeat our view of these quotes so they stick in our minds. Sometimes I actually find myself subconciously repeating these sayings during difficult periods and they help me tremendously!)
All personal breakthrough’s and successes begin with a change in our beliefs. So how do we change? I recently wrote a post on How To Change Our Belief Systems. The most effective way to change our belief systems is by getting our brains to associate massive pain to the old beliefs we have and associating tremendous amounts of pleasure with adopting a new, empowering belief.
“We are what we think.
All that we are arises
With our thoughts.
With our thoughts,
We make our world.”
As you may have read previously, changing my whole belief system by associating recovery with life (pleasure) and long term anorexia with pain, I managed to turn my 10 year battle with my eating disorder around on my own, and I finally started to recover and heal both mentally and physically. During my healing process, I also started to change the way in which I saw the world. I saw other people simply and subconciously living their lives while the more I delved into personal development and Ayurveda (the science of self healing) – the more I become interested in designing my life, rather than just living it and “going with the flow”.
“In order to truly find that inspiration and achieve impossible goals, we must suspend our belief systems about what were capable of achieving.”
Changing my core belief system was when things really started to alter for me, both internally and externally. Like Donald Curtis says, We are where we are because we have first imagined it. I didnt do anything transformational in my life, other than start believing great things were really possible for me.
With this, came the idea of goal setting. It was all well and good seeing the world with different eyes, but I wanted to know I was making progress in some form. I wanted to know I was turning the invisible (dreams) into the visible (reality). Goal setting meant I had to rid myself of unconscious fear of disappointment of failing to achieve my own (unusually high) expectations. I also had to stop tying my entire level of personal happiness on my ability to achieve the goals I was setting myself if my failure to achieve was out of my control. The drive to achieve came from prior adversity and deletion of my teen years, so in seeing what was now possible, I had to make a commitment to enjoy the process of producing and accomplishing instead of contuinuing to abuse myself for underachieving. After all, its not just the goal that matters but the quality of life that is experienced along the way.
Many people go through life putting off their joy and happiness. Goal setting means that ‘someday’, after they achieve that ‘something’, will they be able to enjoy life to the fullest. The truth is that if we decide to be happy now, we’ll automatically achieve more because were enjoying the process. While goals provide a wonderful direction and a way to focus, we must constantly strive to live each day to its fullest, squeezing all the joy we can out of each moment. Instead of measuring success and failure in life by our ability to achieve a specific goal, we have to remember that the direction we are heading is more important than the individual results. Sometimes we need to trust that our disappointments are really opportunities in disguise!
This does mean, however, that if you are met with initial frustration when something goes wrong, that you shouldn’t pack up and move onto something else/another goal. We all need to be committed. I believe that life is constantly testing us for our level of commitment, and life’s greatest rewards are reserved for the people who demonstrate a never ending commitment to keep on keeping on until they achieve what they originally set out to do. This level of determination can (and has!) moved mountains, but it has to be constant and consistent. Simply put, it is the level of determination that separates those who walk through life and those who get to live their dreams.
(An image of my ‘5 year’ goal planner that is pinned to my tall boy in my room – I make sure I read these goals at least three times weekly so my subconscious mind can get working on them!)
(My ‘Goals For Now’ and “Goals For 2015′ planners stuck right next to my bed so I am able to see and re-read daily – refreshing my mind each morning of the things I am wanting to accomplish!)
In all of my goals I have covered four important areas of my life:
1) Personal Development Goals
2) Career Goals
3) Family/Travel Goals
4) Contribution/Community goals
…..What specific action would YOU take today to lead you on to the road of destiny of your choice? What would you chose for your life if you could have it any way you wanted it? What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
Like I mentioned above, it is important to write down your goals (no matter how absurd you think they are!) and keep reviewing them until you have a clear idea of what you truly want to accomplish. I cannot tell you what it is like getting out of bed in the morning and really being able to feel a sense of inspiration and passion in the pit of your bones for something you love and believe in, and goals can really help drive you forward.
Now, onto Values….
In order for us to create goals, we must first know what our values are. Values guide our every decision in life, and therefore steer our destinies. Those who truly know and live by their values become the leaders of our society. We can undoubtedly achieve the deepest level of fulfilment in life by accomplishing our goals, but firstly we must first decide what we value most in life, what are highest values are, and then commit to live by them every single day.
Sadly, a lot of people are uncertain about what is truly important in their lives and thus, everyday decision making becomes a form of internal torment. It is all very well us setting goals and going forth to achieve them, but in order to be clear about what we really want to achieve in life we must first get clear about what is most important in our lives and then commit to living by those values, no matter what happens. The only way for us to create long-term happiness is to live by our highest ideals and to consistently act in accordance with what we believe our lives are truly about. But how do we do this if we have no idea of what are values really are? One of the most heartbreaking things I’ve encountered is seeing people know what they want, but having no real idea of who they want to be. To me, this is to be consistered the deepest and most painful form of emptiness.
Most of us know that materialistic ‘things’ will not fulfil us in the long-term, neither only living and doing what we believe in will give us that inner sense of purpose, meaning, and that inner strength that we all deserve. Living by our values, whatever they are, are the compass to guiding us to our ultimate destinies. Not using that compass will lead to frustration, lack of fulfilment, and a nagging sense of that life could be something more if only ‘something’ were different. On the other hand, theres a beautiful power in living your values – a sense of certainty, inner peace, wholeness, a total congruency that few people ever experience.
I started living in accordance to my (above) values, making a conscious effort to tap into each value every single day in correlation with my goals in order to push forward (upwards) and away from my habitual anorexic behaviour that was destroying me nearly two years ago. The conclusion was that when I started living by my highest standards, and whenever I fulfilled and met my values, I felt immense joy. I didn’t need starvation or numbness or any of the deathly components that came along with the illness, because life gradually became incredibly rich. Distracting myself from such incredible heights would be like taking sleeping pills on Christmas morning. Such a waste of life.
“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” – John Wooden
In order for you to work out what your values are you need to ask yourself two important questions:
1) What are some of the emotions that are important to you to avoid on a consistent basis, and…
2) What is most important to me in life?