Before I tell you how I stumbled across this secret let me share with you a story.
Have you ever had days when you were in flow, you were unstoppable. You were so good you surprised yourself.
I remember one such incident when I was on fire. I was on such a winning streak that I assumed leadership of the situation and became a person others looked up to. Unfortunately this only lasted for the duration of the trip…5 days.
I was back to my timid bovine style after that. I still remember this brief fleeting moment even though it occurred 13 years ago!
There were more such fleeting moments but it seemed there was nothing I could do to control when I could get these and how long it could last. It appeared that fate was in control.
Until recently that is.
One day I came home full of dread about a long application form that I had to fill in.
I had been delaying this for many days and it started weighing on me.
But as soon as I came home I happened to start clearing up my dining table of junk mail and other crap.
It took almost an hour to clear the mess but I started feeling better about myself.
Next I bathed my son, read him a book and rocked him to sleep. If you know my son you will know this was an accomplishment in itself
I was feeling even more good about myself.
I felt I had accomplished something.
Guess what I did next…that is right I started filling up the application form!
The secret I am talking about is momentum.
An object at rest stays at rest but an object in motion keeps moving.
This principle is so powerful when used at will.
Imagine starting your daydoing the right things …things that add to your momentum.
No wonder my day was shot when I used to get up late versus when I got up early.
Brian Tracy talks about eating a frog first thing in the morning.
By this he is referring to the ugly and monstrous task that you have been delaying.
When you finish the most unappealing task first thing in the morning then the rest of your day will only get better.
But I have a different take on this.
I find that eating a frog (figuratively speaking of course, no frogs were harmed in writing this post!) takes a lot of willpower.
Doing the smaller things first builds up a reservoir of positive feelings that boost your self esteem and give you more power to take on the challenging tasks.
Whichever way works for you I hope I have been able to convey the tremendous leverage that momentum provides you.
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One summer evening while driving back home from work I experienced something that I had never ever experienced before.
I saw smoke coming out from under my car’s hood.
Mine was a 14 year old car but I prided myself on the regular maintenance that I performed on it. Maintenance that helped me put 158,000 miles on it without a problem.
But the car was gone now and I had to get another one fast.
I had always wanted an SUV,one with three rows and all wheel drive, and felt this was a good opportunity to buy one. I looked at the usual suspects. Used Hondas, Toyotas and Acuras. Why just the three makes, because those were the ones driven most often by members in my circle.
It was a frustrating experience. Because of the poor state of the economy there was more demand for used vehicles than new. All the ones I looked at were way above my budget. And I spent quite a bit of time on it.
Then one day, after three days of fruitless search I did something that I should have done at the beginning of the search. I did a Google search of all SUV models that came with three rows and had all wheel drive.
I saw eligible models that I had not even given a thought before. I was so trapped with the original list of three that I could not see beyond. I was blind.
Performing the Google search was the turning point in my personal car search. It immediately opened up more options and we snagged a car that met my requirements and my budget. Plus it is so much more appealing than the boring three.
Here is the moral of my story.
If you ever feel trapped then increase the number of options. If you ever feel overwhelmed by the number of options then reduce them.
I did both. When you enter the market for used cars you get thousands of options that can overwhelm you easily. I reduced the number by requiring the car to be an SUV, three row seating and all wheel drive.
When I felt trapped by the three makes I increased the number of options by looking beyond the three makes.
Recently I read an article by Bob Proctor that had a big impact on me. Bob spoke about how the highest form of human activity is thinking.
Back in the 90′s he used to make regular 25 hour trips Toronto and KualaLumpur every 2 months. On these trips he rarely indugled in any kind of social interaction. Instead he would spend his time thinking.
Out of this thinking came an idea that added millions of dollars to his net worth.
I happened to read this article at a very fortuitous time. I was going to fly from the east coast to the western coast of USA in about 18 hours.
This was a flight that lasts about 6 hours. A trip without any stops and without my family, therefore no distractions.
An ideal opportunity if ever for some serious thinking while flying.
So I grabbed a blank pad, a pen and settled down in the plane seat … and watched a 2 hour movie!
Old habits are hard to die. However once the movie finished I did get to do some thinking.
And what great output it created.
I never had as much clarity on my goals as I did on that flight when I listed and reviwed each one of them.
I also wrote down 20 ideas for my business, took an inventory of all the learning resources that I purchased but had never used till now.
And I wrote a draft for this post too on that flight.
I have so much more thinking to do…I am looking forward to the next flight.
The action habit that will overcome our addictions and drive us to achieve our goals and dreams.
People do not follow through because of fear. They sit back and hope it will change.
But the successful people follow through because of the fear of what will happen if they do not.
The most important thing is getting started. Once you start keep the momentum going by developing daily rituals.
To get started you need a ‘Why’.
And then you need a sense of certainty.
The one thing that is different between successful and unsuccessful is a sense of certainty.
I never did ‘get it’ though until Tony Robbins outlined the below diagram.
That was when it finally hit me.
Below then is the diagram.
The Holy Grail For Taking Action And Getting Results
Step 1 – Potential
You can never achieve it physically until you change your mindset.
Step 2 – What action to take
Step 3 – Results from the actions you take
Step 4 – Belief system
The four steps above can start a vicious cycle. If you believe you do not have what it takes viz. potential you will not take effective action. Not taking action will lead to poor results which in turn will feed your belief system about you not being worth much.
On the other hand if you develop a sense of certainty you will take massive action which in turn will produce great results and in turn reinforce your belief about your sense of worth.
So how do you develop a sense of certainty.
This breakthrouh occurs by conditioning your mind every day. Start a ritual where you visualize your future as if you are already there.
We are defined by our rituals.
The mind exerts an enormous influence on one’s performance.
A study was conducted where basketball players were divided into three groups.
The first group practiced rigorously on the court for six months.
The second group was told to not even touch the ball.
The third group was told to practice mentally. More specifically they were told to practice making the perfect shot every time they threw the ball.
So which group won… the group that indulged in perfect practice mentally.
To recap …
Get a powerful why.
Work on one thing a day.
Believe in something.
It takes guts to believe.
Only the gutless are skeptical and cynical.
Remember this – in life you will end up with one of two things – a result or a story.
Would you rather not end up with the result you dream about instead of a story about why it was not possible.
Did the above diagram have the same impact on you as it did on me.