Monday, 3 September 2012

Mind Power

I always think the change of seasons is a good time to re-evaluate.

I am guilty of letting myself become totally consumed with everything going on around me without stopping and taking a look at where I am going.

The summer has come and gone, and the last six months have been a bit of a whirlwind.

I sometimes find myself so whipped up in the pace of things, that I forget to stop, pull back and look at things as a whole.

Recently I have been exploring  the values of stopping, taking my foot of the accelerator, and spending some time to re-focus. 

If I had put on my winter clothes to find my jumper was a bit tighter than it was at the beginning of the year, I would crank it up at the gym and get my body back into shape.

I have only recently discovered the value of taking the same care over my mind.

Without noticing, life charges on, and the mind can become jumbled, cluttered and untidy, sluggish and lacking in tone.

Given that the mind governs everything I do, everywhere I am going, and ultimately everything I am going to become, it is a good idea to keep it in tip top shape.

What are my goals for the next day; week; month; year; decade?

Why is it we sometimes take our eye off these signposts and just carry on aimlessly? 

If I were driving from London to Scotland I would make sure I was on the correct route for the entire journey, and if I took a wrong turn I would get back on track at the next available opportunity.

So when we come to something far more important, the direction of our lives, why is it ok to ignore the signposts, throw the map in the glove compartment and carry on until we just end up where we end up.

I think the answer is simple, it is not ok – not for me anyway.

As I said, it is almost the beginning of autumn, and time for a bit of mind focus.

I have spend a lot of time studying self-improvement books, which led me to read the work of Wallace Wattles, Napoleon Hill and Charles Haanel.

If you have never had the opportunity, I would take the time to sit down and read some of their books (I’ve put my list of “bibles” at the end).

I have found them invaluable in teaching me how to focus on what I want to achieve, how to knock negativity on the head, and allow myself to believe in my own capabilities (something my teachers at school went to lengths to convince me otherwise).

Anyway, here are a few things I carry with me every day that have changed the way I look at life, and have opened numerous doors.

Focus every day on what you want – what you want to achieve.
Just take a minute to get them all stacked up neatly in your head – career, holidays, relationships, health.
Do not give any energy to what you don’t want – don’t dwell, fix and move on.
Every morning, as you would work out physically for the day, mentally prepare.
Focus on what you want to achieve in the day, week, month, year, and allow yourself to believe you can do it.
Even if that little voice inside your head spends all day telling you you can’t, take that time every day to allow yourself to believe you can.
Play games in your head - see yourself doing all the things you want to, and be happy they will happen.
Be thankful for everything you have, and recognise all the positives in your life.
This is important, be grateful for every single thing you have, this creates some sort of space for more good things to come your way – believe me it does.
Accept that fate will guide you to the best possible outcome.

I have reaped the benefits of these simple practices without even realising it -  a couple of examples:

1996 - I am working in a pathology lab with two science degrees but no clue where I want to be. But I have one passion - I fell in love with the Far East after a holiday to Thailand.

I knew the one thing I wanted to do was live in Asia - a dream so up in the clouds it would never happen, or so I thought.

How could I just up and move to the other side of the world, with no  travel experience, no career that would take me there, no family there, nothing.

My parents told me to stop being so stupid and just forget about it.

My friends smiled and said, I am sure you can go back one day - but that was not enough.

This ambition niggled away at me like an ulcer in my stomach. I wanted it more than anything, and before I knew it I was imagining living in the Far East, every day, I pictured it, I lived it in my head.

I smelt it, I felt it, I was already there.

One day I woke up and I knew, whatever it took, I would do it. Whoever told me "that's a bit of a wacky ambition", I knew I could do it.

In the moment I had that realisation, a path opened in front of me, and it became as clear as day how was going to do it.

Nothing seemed to come to me easier, it was as if once I allowed myself to believe I could do it, something appeared to show me how.

Every month I put £100 in an account until I had £700. While I was doing this I started learning English grammar, on the train to work, under the desk when my boss wasn't looking and at home in my room at night.

I applied to do  a TEFL - looking at the application form I realised I fulfilled none of the entry requirements.

I had done no English since school, I had no teaching experience, and I had nothing in my career so far that could justify this path. But knew I had to get on it, and pass.

I took the test and went to the interview, convinced if they let me on I would pass it. 

I was accepted onto the course, and that October, the month after Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris, I was offered a job teaching English in Japan.

I am not going to lie, I turned up in Japan knowing nobody, having being taken to a dingy apartment in the back end of Tokyo in the dead of night, and told to turn up to work at 9am the next morning. 

I was handed a guide on how to get the trains  and what to do in the event of an earthquake, I was terrified and decided that night to find out how to get back home.

Two years later I was still there, and realised it was one of the best things I had ever done.

2003 - I am working as a pharmaceutical rep - after three years I was bored, I wanted more.

I hated driving round London begging GPs to prescribe drugs, and being told to get lost by receptionists.

I wanted to work in the media - in journalism, but again I was turning 30, had no experience, no writing skills, no broadcast skills, and didn't have the first clue how to get into the industry.

I knew nobody that could even give me a few tips on how to do it.

But again, I had one thing going in my favour, I was obsessed. One morning woke up and said to myself - you can do this, and I actually believed it.

Without going through all the details, within a year I had retrained, passed numerous journalism exams, and had begged my way onto my local newspaper to work for free.

Nine years later I think I have done alright!

The mind is a powerful tool, and it draws things towards you without you realising.

There really is a lot of truth in the phrase beware what you wish for - you might just get it.

It might sound a bit new age, but I don’t really care!

Don't leave home without these books:

The Science of Getting Rich - Wallace D. Wattles
The Secret - Rhonda Byrne
The Magic - Rhonda Byrne
Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
The Power of Your Subconscious Mind – Dr Joseph Murphy

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