I read a recent article in the Times that quoted a Canadian study on positive thinking.
The essence of the experiment was that participants in the study were prompted at regular intervals to recite positive things about themselves. Participants actually ended up feeling worse. In the same experiment those who were commended for doing something positive such as donating money etc felt worse after being praised.
I am sure the above study was based on scientific principles. But 100 years ago the cutting edge science also approved making holes in skulls to relieve headaches.
Now I am a pretty average person myself and granted that even after many years of self help books my life has still remained pretty average. However something inside me clicked when I listened to Zig Ziglar’s program ‘Developing The Qualities of Success’.
I had never listened to a Zig Ziglar program before partly because I knew him as the father of the affirmation mantra and Anthony Robbins always disses affirmations. In fact he compares affirmations to the act of ignoring the weeds in your garden and saying I have no weeds, I have no weeds.
No wonder I was turned off by Zig Ziglar.
But then I listened to his program and tried out his affirmation ritual during my daily commutes.
And then something started happening inside me.
I became more confident, more action oriented … more of everything I affirmed.
And it has only been a week.
This is not just wishy washy subjective feel good crap either.
I started seeing positive benefits that were concrete.
On the very second day of my affirmation ritual I was in a business meeting with my clients. Against my normal submissive style I got very involved in the meeting and made several pro active suggestions that were well received. A few days later I received a commendation and another project from them.
As I write this article it is getting dark outside. Sunday is winding up. I was at the beach the whole of Saturday. Yet today, in just one day I accomplished more than the entire two days of last weekend when I happened to be home throughout the weekend.
I believe the reason why affirmations work for me is that I invest some emotion into it. I don’t normally do this and no wonder self help normally not used to work for me in the past.
So my trigger is emotional affirmations that go to my heart instead of a rational cold brain.
To think I almost missed out on Zig completely because of what I believed Anthony Robbins said about affirmations.
Heed your own counsel…try out everything…put your heart in it.
I was hooked by the title. As our attention spans become shorter these strategies get more important.
He says there are three main points that impact what you say. First is that you need to have an objective. A conversation or dialogue without an objective is a waste of time. The objective can be anything such as to get the other person to take a specific action or get his reaction to a specific question and so on.
The second point is to know who can deliver your objective. For e.g. asking your colleague for a promotion will not do it for you.
The third and the most important thing is the approach. How do you go about interacting with the person to get your objective.For e.g. if you are looking for a promotion one approach could be that you are already performing at the level to which you seek a promotion to.
The author talks about using hooks to get audience interest. His opinion is that personal stories and incidents make for the best hooks.
For e.g. the title of his program was a fantastic hook to me.
He talks about many things you can do to embellish your speech. He urges us to use visual words i.e. words that convey a visual image. These raise the impact and retention of your message. He used a good example in contrasting two statements.
Statement 1 -> A large deficit will ruin the economy
Statement 2 – > A large deficit is like cancer coursing through the blood stream of the economy and ruining it.
In all he made 90 points. As you can see I did not get them all.
But I surely did get the most important ones.
I was impressed with the amount of information he conveyed in 30 second snippets throughout. I could not believe the message was just 30 seconds long.
Brian Tracy talks about using your car as a mobile university. After listening to his urgings for more than 2 years I finally started following it in bits and pieces.
It is amazing how valuable such information. Sometimes I wish for a longer commute just to absorb the message in one ride.
But then again it could be that I just want a break from my two little monsters at home as much as I love them (I am referring to my children).
I have never been much of a spiritual or a devout person.
And I have always been the kind of person that would take hurt quickly and would work to make even by complaining etc. An eye for an eye. A person emanating negative energy.
I was miserable and unhappy…
…then I read Joel Osteen’s book “Better You”.
It was like going from 2D to 3D, life became that much richer because I developed a greater sense of calmness.
I do not have to worry about getting even, there is a God and He will note down all injustices and compensate far greater for the inequities if you leave it to him.
The greatest gift I got from Joel Osteen was “Peace of mind” and boy did it make a difference.
Once I was upset at someone higher up on the totem pole at work. To me it appeared blatantly unfair. I was so agitated I barely caught myself from going to his office and arguing with him. I left the situation to God. No angst, no stress. I just let it go.
So much for my agitation , later I received my performance appraisal . I got a top performer ranking.
As the saying goes “If you fight with pigs you both end up equally dirty…”
Letting go of the bitterness removes tremenduous negative energy.
A belief in the divine has helped me let go of petty grievances. It is so much better than taking Prozac not that I did ever did.
What a refreshing shower is for the body, this book is for the mind.
No matter what your religious denimination is or even if you are an atheist for that matter check out Joel Osteen’s books. His USP is self help backed by the authority of the Bible.
I myself am a Hindu but benefited so much from the book.
Thank you Joel!
You make the world a better place one reader at a time.