I was unexpectedly tagged to play the Hi Vibe Game, a game/challenge for prolific and/or popular personal development bloggers. (I have been tagged by Cardin Lilly Routh of OptimimistLab.com http://www.optimistlab.com.)
In the grand spirit of the game, I’m going to tell you five of my secret “tricks” for Raising My Vibe. In no particular order, here they are:
- I read
And I read some more. High quality, wise personal development and spiritual material is a necessity for my life spirit. If I skip my daily allowance for too long, my appreciation for life and my wonder of life starts to decline. You never really learn something and then have it set in stone. You change and the meaning of the message changes somewhat. You forget … and then you rediscover it. You think you know most of what you need to know about a teaching/a lesson … and then life (or a new reading) presents it to you in a whole new light.
2. I take in various forms of creativity
I derive pure pleasure from partaking of the creativity of other writers and artists. For example, movies have moved (in my mind) from being a guilty pleasure to an art form that I require for my being. There are certain things you can do and say in a movie that cannot be communicated in any other way. And so I finally realized that movies – and other artistic food – are not guilty luxuries; they are truly food for my soul that I require in order to keep growing and evolving … to become a better, much more nuanced person.
3. I meditate
Because I tend towards impatience in learning, the trick for me was to purchase CDs that facilitate the meditation process. The CDs that I have take me to a much more profound level of meditation than I managed to achieve on my own. As an added bonus, I fall into such a deep state of relaxation that I re-enter the world refreshed.
4. I laugh
I admit it. I love to laugh, but even more so I enjoy making other people laugh. I literally sometimes do short stand-up routines for my fiancé. I don’t plan on becoming a professional comedian, but interacting with friends and cracking them up brings me true pleasure.
And when I really need a boost, I find a comedy special on HBO or On Demand (or a funny movie) and make myself watch it. Within five minutes my whole mood has changed. Amazing.
5. I drink a lot of water
Water is the wellspring of life, to my mind. I am astonished how little water most people drink. I didn’t drink much water for most of my life, but once I started drinking water in abundance, I couldn’t go back. It is obvious to me that most people are dehydrated, and this seems to affect our energy level as well as our overall health. The more water I drink, the better I feel.
Here are five other blogs/bloggers which I think will benefit you, as part of the Raising the Vibe Challenge.
- Guy Kawasaki, The Nine Biggest Myths of the Workplace, http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2007/05/the_nine_bigges.html, in his blog How to Change the World http://blog.guykawasaki.com/
- Christine Kane, Doubt is a Drag Queen
3. The Positivity Blog, http://www.positivityblog.com/, Why Some People Are Almost Always Successful, http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2007/03/21/why-some-people-almost-always-are-successful/
4. LifeHack, http://www.lifehack.org/, Interview with Tim Ferris of the Four-Hour Workweek, http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/interview-with-tim-ferriss-of-the-4-hour-workweek-part-2.html
5. Seth Godin’s Blog on his book The Dip, http://sethgodin.typepad.com/the_dip/
That’s it for now. This challenge was great fun. I hope you enjoyed this post and the multitude of blog entries recommended by this post and other posts via the Hi Vibe game.
Most of us — including me — were taught to believe in luck. We believe that certain people have achieved certain successes or have experienced “good fortune” at least partially because of luck. Of course, we acknowledge that hard work and perseverance were involved to some extent, but we believe that “luck” is the critical factor in most people’s successes.
How many times have you heard someone say something to the effect of, “If you want to accomplish X, you’ll need more than hard work and credentials. You’ll also need to a lot of luck. It’s a hard business to break into (or succeed in, or rise to the top of, etc.).”
We nod our heads, subconsciously slipping into the trap of allowing ourselves the excuse of lack of luck whenever we fail to achieve something that we want . . . but which we secretly believed was out of our range anyway. It’s like when you approach that gorgeous person hopefully … and just know that she or he won’t be interested because s/he will look at you and decide you aren’t quite up to par.
That kind of thinking is poison … and it will manifest for you everything that you didn’t want to manifest!
Here’s the lesson: luck is self-created.
As Thomas Jefferson said:
I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.
“Lucky” people put themselves in the right place at the right time, they contact the people that they need to meet to get ahead or stay connected, they work hard and consistently to make sure that when an opportunity arises, their name and reputation are known — and they are ready to meet the challenge.
You can practice creating luck on a daily basis. Your opportunity may be just around the corner — but you have to prepare for it. Think of all the ways that you can create luck in your own life.
Perhaps that means sending out resumes on a daily basis. Perhaps it means calling five more contacts per day, being friendly to everyone that you meet, starting to write a business plan, writing that magazine article or query, or sending out a press release. Perhaps it means stretching your comfort zone just a little bit more every day.
Bottom line: The creation of luck entails different things for different people. Figure out what it entails for you, and practice the creation of luck every day.
Expect to be lucky, prepare to be lucky, act like you are lucky, and you will create your own luck.
If you are interested in Wallace Wattles and his work, The Science of Getting Rich, Debra Moorhead has a great seven-part commentary on applying the science.
Her first blog on the topic is available here.
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”
One of the big challenges in life is to recognize when you perceive that you have “failed”, and then to make something good come out of that.
When we allow ourselves self-pity for too long, we ultimately start feeling not only like a failure — but also like a victim.
The key is to acknowledge that your hopes did not pan out — but that this experience means that you are meant for something different, and usually something better.
I had an a-ha moment watching one of the two Oprah shows on The Secret, wherein Oprah said something along the lines of, “If you’re fired, you should thank them … because that just means you weren’t meant to be there anyway.”
Similarly, I saw Donald Trump speak a couple of years ago in Los Angeles and he recounted the story of a friend who was talented but doing abysmally in his line of work. Trump kept telling him to quit — but he wouldn’t. Finally, he was fired. Thereafter, the friend started some sort of golf business and has never been happier.
Often when we fail — assuming we are working diligently — it is because we really are supposed to be doing something else. It means we are on the wrong path.
And often that “something else” is so much bigger than what we were doing.
What’s great about this is that if we think about it hard enough and creatively enough, the opportunity presented by the “failure” often dwarfs the problem.
An obvious example would be being laid off from your job and being forced to start your own business … which you have wanted to do forever but didn’t have the guts for. In this case, life has given you a kick in the pants.
Another example would be attempting a freelance writing career for niche magazines, and being rejected over and over. You might realize that you have been thinking way too small and decide to sumbit to the big national magazines, write a book, or even start your own magazine.
A less obvious example: your website/business is not doing as well as you hoped. You visit your traffic stats and notice that 50% of the people who are your visitors/customers are interested in X. You have been focusing on X, Y, and Z and everything in between.
Out of this failure you can recognize that there might be a huge market for X. You build the website and products centered around X … and your niche idea takes off.
A still less obvious example: what have you been criticized for your entire life? Arrogance, timidity, too loud, too meek, inability to cooperate with others, a desire to have everyone approve …
Whatever it is, that is part of you. And you should use that in a unique way that makes you stand out like no other person could.
For example, if you are criticized for being self-centered and money-focused — go for it. Start a business and use your (rare) arrogance to instill confidence in your employees.
If you have been criticized for being meek and wanting everyone to like you … use that! Work at a non-profit at which you aren’t front and center (at least for now) and do your best work for others.
Our personalities are uniquely ours, and we must use them for distinct purposes.
If we do not do so, we become yet another member of the crowd who damns his or her “flaws” and hopes for a better day.
But you are the master of your life. You create your life through your thoughts and your expectations.
Shape it according to your will and mold it to the form of your own unique personality.
Over at GeniusTypes.com, Brian Lee offers an article titled Why People Fail. Although it is not a cheery title or subject, the wisdom Brian imparts is priceless. He speculates that even though many people are presented with the precise information on how to become successful and wealthy, 99% of people won’t do anything about it.
Why? He gives five reasons, all of which are things most people avoid:
1. Hard Work
2. Taking Risks
3. Doing Research
4. Getting Organized
The truth hurts, but it can also be liberating if you are honest with yourself.
Read the full post here.
One of the greatest assets any person can secure is a reputation for eccentricity. If you have a reputation of this kind you can do a lot of things … Many an act which, if performed by an ordinary person, would arouse indignation, animosity and antagonism can be performed by a person with a reputation for eccentricity with no other result that that of exciting mirth …
Paul Graham has one of the best articles I’ve read, How to Do What You Love, on finding your passion.
Some of the best passages:
Why is it conventional to pretend to like what you do? … If you have to like something to do it well, then the most successful people will all like what they do. That’s where the upper-middle class tradition comes from … [C]onventional attitudes about work are, without the owners even knowing it, nth-degree imitations of the attitudes of people who’ve done great things.
His thoughts on prestige:
Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like.
That’s what leads people to try to write novels, for example. They like reading novels. They notice that people who write them win Nobel prizes. What could be more wonderful, they think, than to be a novelist? But liking the idea of being a novelist is not enough; you have to like the actual work of novel-writing if you’re going to be good at it; you have to like making up elaborate lies.
And perhaps my favorite observation:
Prestige is especially dangerous to the ambitious. If you want to make ambitious people waste their time on errands, the way to do it is to bait the hook with prestige. That’s the recipe for getting people to give talks, write forewords, serve on committees, be department heads, and so on. It might be a good rule simply to avoid any prestigious task. If it didn’t suck, they wouldn’t have had to make it prestigious.
I do disagree with him on one point. He says that in finding what you love to do, you shouldn’t worry about the opinions of anyone beyond your friends. I’d go even further: don’t worry about what your friends think. This is your life to live, so choose accordingly.
Read the full post here.
For those of you interested in the recent critiques on Oprah’s recommendation of The Secret, please read this thoughtful and dead-on response from Steve Olson.
I am more than thrilled that an intelligent person shot back with a very smart response. I am not linking to the infamous criticisms because they are linked to in the article that I recommend; more importantly, I prefer not to link to vitriol.
Happy reading and contemplating!
As someone deeply devoted to personal development, I voraciously devour books, films, and podcasts on personal development and spirituality.
This focus, which has been fairly intense the last two years or so, has had a profoundly positive effect on my life.
But there is an aspect to the whole P.D. industry that worries me. There are certain people (O.K., a lot of people) who flock to so-called “gurus” in order to learn how to live their lives … step-by-step, if possible.
I’ll give you a brief example. I rarely attend live presentations, but when I do they have been very good (I am extremely selective). Last year I attended a two-hour talk by Wayne Dyer. He was very, very good. I brought my reluctant fiancée along, and he also very much enjoyed the talk. We even bought two plastic bracelets (I think they cost $2.00 total) to support a cause Dyer was advocating.
But that was it. I left feeling great and focusing on remembering a few points from the talk that were helpful to me.
I did not — as so many did — rush up to the stage during intermission, desperate to touch the hand of this man who might solve all my life problems. I did not stare in wonder at him as he paced the stage. I did not leave with a feeling of, “I need more Wayne Dyer, more!”
But so many people do seem to need Wayne Dyer. Or Deepak Chopra. Or Tony Robbins. Or Marianne Williamson.
Worse, they tend to gravitate toward one individual so that their need is focused on one “guru” in particular. In sum, they mistake the messenger for the message.
Look, I love many of the P.D. gurus. These people deserve every penny they earn for the changes they have made in peoples’ lives. But some of their devotees seriously need to learn to “take what you need and leave the rest.”
Another example: there is a very popular P.D. guy who blogs online. Most of you probably know of whom I speak but I won’t name him because this isn’t about him … it is about his followers. Most of his articles are great and many of his thoughts make me think critically in a way that I had not before.
Recently, he posted a pet theory about something we’ll call –for the sake of amusement — The Law of Magnetism. His theory about this “Law of Magnetism” grouped 1% of people into the thoughtful camp who had decided to personally become a magnet — or not. Again, I’m using analogies here; this wasn’t the actual theory. The other common 99% of people, according to the theory, float helplessly along in life, having chosen neither to become a magnet nor to become a non-magnet.
The theory was thoughtful but, to my mind, whacked out in many respects. To me, that’s fine. The guy is smart and critical but …. he gets stuff wrong — just like the rest of us.
Nonetheless, thousands of people rushed to the forum boards wondering whether they were among those who had decided to become a “magnet” or not. How did they know which side to choose? And what did the guru mean when he said X … and how did it apply to their lives?
It was crazy. It was like someone proclaiming that 99% of us are drifters, and 1% of us are magicians — but we have to decide which kind of magician … and then everyone re-framing their life to decide whether they are a magician or not. And what kind of magician precisely?!?!
People, please resolve to be your own guru. Even if a modern day certified savior were to appear and set out certain life precepts, wouldn’t you want to question these precepts and — if you decided you agreed with them — determine how to structure your own life accordingly, by means of your own critical thinking? You would not (I hope) run to this modern day savior and ask him or her about every detail of how to live your life. You would understand that we must know our own selves, and that we are all part of a divine intelligence that has given us the tools to take the basics and construct our own abundant lives.
At least I hope so.
I am not dismissing the gurus here. Rather, I am critiquing the phenomena of people desperately attaching themselves to one guru, taking everything the guru says as the Word, and then figuring out how they should live their lives according to the guru and that guru’s Word.
This is why so many people consume ridiculous amounts of products and seminars from particular speakers. Buying some books and films from various sources is one thing; hungrily devouring everything produced by one human being is another.
Please learn to listen to yourself. Read the books and listen to the podcasts. But be a critical thinker and take only what you need.
In short, be your own guru.
There are some very interesting Personal Development articles included.
You Teach People How to Treat You (one of my favorites)
There are many other great articles; these are just a few. Check out the other articles here.
Studying the people who have got rich, we find that they are an average lot in all respects, having no greater talents and abilities than other men. It is evident that they do not get rich because they possess talents and abilities that other men have not, but because they happen to do things in a Certain Way.
Getting rich is not the result of saving, or “thrift”; many very penurious people are poor, while free spenders often get rich.
Nor is getting rich due to doing things which others fail to do; for two men in the same business often do almost exactly the same things, and one gets rich while the other remains poor or becomes bankrupt.
From all these things, we must come to the conclusion that getting rich is the result of doing things in a Certain Way.
Wallace Wattles, Chapter 2: The Science of Getting Rich
Recently, I posted about a wonderful YouTube video that shows off the benefits of creating a vision statement for your life on your computer.
Last week I learned that I can easily create a personal vision statement on my computer via Microsoft’s Photo Story 3 (it is a free download for anyone with Windows XP). The editing of the video is incredibly easy; I did have my slightly more tech-savvy S.O. help me with some issues such as cropping hard-to-lose black borders on my photos … but other than that the experience was amazingly easy.
I spent half of a weekend day on this … and it was well worth the time.
I now have my (first draft of) my personal Vision Statement.
Final step: deciding on the music. I have narrowed it down to two songs.
I get excited every time I watch it with either song.
Be sure to find great photos to use, and spend some time picking just the right music. You want something upbeat and inspiring. For example, I rejected some music because even though the beat was up-tempo, the underlying message was not.
Don’t dwell on one photo or graphic for too long. Keep it moving. My longest graphic (other than the last shot) is five seconds. Most are 2-3 seconds.
Whatever images and music you choose, make sure the entire show is something you’ll be psyched to watch every morning and every night before turning in. This is powerful stuff!
Steve Jobs has said: “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
It is so true. If you can fast forward in your mind to when you are dead and really contemplate that, a lot of the stuff that seems important now won’t seem important at all. Many of the potential actions that you may want to take that seem scary now won’t seem so scary. What feels scary, in such a mindset of anticipating your death, is living like you are now — if you are living at less than your potential. Most of us — even high achievers — could achieve so much more.
Any many of us are on the completely wrong path.
I like the way Oprah said it on one of her shows on the DVD The Secret. She mentioned that she sees people struggling all the time, struggling against the current. She said she just wants to tell them to turn around and flow with the current. Clearly, she is someone who has mastered the art of flowing with the current.
So if you are struggling against the current, stop. Think about what you believe you are here to manifest. Then turn around, and go with that flow.
Brian Kim has a motivating article on doing something towards your dream today. That’s right, today. Not tomorrow or next month or when it is most convenient.
So how can you get started on your dream today? To do that, let’s explore the reasons why people don’t get started on their dream in the first place.
In my opinion, people don’t get started on their dream because of three reasons.
1. They have too many dreams.
2. They’re doubtful they can accomplish it.
3. They fear they’ll fail at it.
Read the full post here.