30 Habits of
Truly Successful Living
By Greg Parry PhD
The information provided in this book is designed to provide helpful information on the subjects discussed. This book is not meant to be used, nor should it be used, to diagnose or treat any medical condition. For diagnosis or treatment of any medical problem, consult your own physician. The publisher and author are not responsible for any specific health or allergy needs that may require medical supervision and are not liable for any damages or negative consequences from any treatment, action, application or preparation, to any person reading or following the information in this book. References are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute endorsement of any websites or other sources. Readers should be aware that the websites listed in this book may change.
Copyright © 2014 by Beran Parry
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the author’s email address:
Writing can be a particularly challenging experience but the project was supported and encouraged by a bold and brave crew of enthusiasts who generously lent their time, expertise and creativity to the book and I’m grateful to each and every one of them.
My wife, Beran, who has worked tirelessly to prepare my book and has headed up and directed the support team, ably assisted by my talented colleague, Kevin Wallington.
Initially I trained in the field of Corporate Psychology and Management, gaining a PhD along the way and spending most of my time driving commercial projects and delivering Motivational Training in a corporate environment. And there were catalysts for change that appeared quite unexpectedly. I’ve been privileged to sit at the feet of some quite extraordinary financial giants, individuals who carved out their success from the bare rock of their own determination and dogged persistence. These were highly motivated and inspiring people and it’s largely thanks to their advice and unwavering examples that I’ve been able to create a lifestyle that allows me to enjoy the kind of freedom that most people only dream about.
I have been extremely fortunate to work with a surprising number of self-made billionaires, individuals who were generous enough to share their experiences and their personal philosophy of success with me. Some of them were kind enough to mentor me during my earlier years and this generosity has prompted me to publish and share some of the jewels of their accumulated wisdom and add weight to the argument that success is not an accident.
As well as studying the architecture of material success, these individuals also dwelt on the importance of creating balance in life, of creating time to be with their families, to support great causes and to make a difference to the quality of peoples’ lives. They appreciated the freedom that their lifestyles had created for themselves and displayed a breath-taking lack of selfishness in promoting success wherever they found fertile ground in which their advice could take root. One of them described this spirit of generosity as a personal legacy, a way of ensuring that all of his hard-won lessons were not simply confined to the limits of his own life.
There’s a great deal of material in the marketplace today on the subject of success. Against this dense background of conflicting ideas and approaches, perhaps we should determine from the outset what success really entails.
I subscribe to my mentors’ philosophy of personal freedom, of creating sufficient wealth to live the way you want to live and to enjoy the gift of this life to the full. You’ll feel a lot better when you share your success with others too. You certainly don’t have to be a billionaire to achieve that level of freedom and personal choice or to make a difference to the lives of others. But you do need the appropriate attitude. You will need determination and you’ll probably need to make some adjustments to how you think, feel and behave. Letting go of old habits, shaking yourself loose from the grip of the past, learning to focus on a much brighter vision of the future – these are all components that will enhance your chances for success and improve the quality of your daily life at every level. It isn’t simply a question of how much cash you’ve stashed away. The picture’s bigger, more detailed, more encompassing and brighter than you might’ve thought possible. Success is certainly about measurable achievement but it also involves a stronger connections to the people around us. It involves a deep sense of peace within ourselves. It encapsulates the concept of personal acceptance. It permits us to choose appropriate goals and to follow the winding pathway to our destination with unbreakable confidence in our ability to get wherever we choose to go. And, if the seeds of wisdom have taken root, to enjoy the journey to the full.
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Table of Contents
1. Purpose.Understanding why you’re here and what you want from the experience
2. Peace and calm.Loosening the lifelong bonds of stress.
3. Real energy.Feeling the Force of your natural energy source
4. Dreams.Accessing the profound insights and analysis of the subconscious super-computer
5. Fuel.Respecting your body’s need for the most natural nutrition
6. Positive Influences and the hidden power of our expectations.
7. Rest ‘n’ Recovery.New habits to promote great sleep
8. Stretch It.A supple body support a flexible mind
9. Creativity. Unleash the power of your Hidden Muse
10 Identity.Revealing the deeper sense of Self
11. Nature.Re-connecting with the natural environment
12. Parents.Making peace with the first relationships and building a foundation for the future
13. Work.Finding the perfect way to express who you really are
14. Chill.Unlocking the physical armour of your daily stress and learn to feel free
15. Awareness.Taking control of the inner realms of our thoughts and feelings
16. Getting down to the details.Building your personal priority List
17. Sleep.Maximising your daily down time to improve brain function
18. Move.Appreciating the miracle of your body
19. Flexibility. Keep your joints in great working order and move more easily
20.Your Word.Empowering the value of what you say
21. Change.The irresistible power of choice
22. Feelings.Taming our emotional habits
23. Focus.Choosing to connect with positive outcomes
24. Goals.Keeping your attention on your chosen destination
25. Visualise.Use your imagination to lift your spirits
26. Determination.Persistence paves the way to success and fulfilment
27. Appreciation and the Art of Being Grateful
28. Generosity. Celebrate success wherever you find it
29. Cash.Learning to be completely at ease with the power of money
30. Will and the extraordinary focus of a trained and flexible mind
By The Same Best Selling Author
Life is about change. Everything around us is constantly changing, from the vibrations in the molecules that make up our bodies to the swirling dance and movement of galactic clusters. Everything is moving and everything is changing. It’s the natural order of the universe. Change is the force that opens up opportunities with every new breath.
Yet we humans resist change at every level of our consciousness. We become locked into our old habits, thinking the same thoughts, feeling the same feelings, clinging to the familiar ways of experiencing life regardless of the outcomes. Our objective is to help you to embrace change and make it work for you. Our mission is to show you that life really can be better. Not by staying in the old patterns of stress and limitation but by introducing subtle shifts in behaviour that can expand awareness and put you firmly in control of a process that can revolutionise your life. Change is normal, natural and inevitable. So let’s harness its potential and start living life to the full. The world is full of fabulous and inspiring examples of extraordinary individuals who have broken free of their conditioning and apparent limitations and created success at every level of their lives. The good news is that you’re going to be making the rules. You’re going to be in control. It’s your life. It’s only right that you should choose how it works out.
Welcome to your new future.
Welcome to your 30 Habits of Truly Successful Living
We’re starting from the basic premise that there are some areas of your life that probably need help. Well that’s no great surprise. You’re human. It’s part of the package of being a member of the great clan we know today as Homo Sapiens. Welcome to the human condition!
Some of the methods described in your 30 Habits of Truly Successful Living will focus specifically on how you use your mind and body and will help you to master a range of important, practical, physical and mental skills. There are distinct physical connections between how you use your body and the way you think and feel.
Our aim is to teach you how to overcome some of the shortcomings that often get in the way of your full potential. Other methods have been harnessed to target and address the mental, emotional and psychological components that contribute towards living life to the full.
Clearly, before we get started, the first question we need to ask is “Are you really happy?” Have you even stopped for a moment and asked yourself that question recently? It’s a very important issue.
If you have to think about it, the answer is probably “No”! You know if you’re really happy and I’m not referring to some superficial, transient approximation of happiness. I’m talking about a fundamental force within us all that is so powerful that it can sustain us like a miniature sun shining in our hearts. Life is too precious to be wasted on unhappiness. If you suspect that there can be more to your life, this is your chance to discover and deploy that latent potential.
We want you to feel great, to find an outlet for your talents, to feel that you have purpose, to take control of your life, to reap the rewards of your success. The good news is that no one else is going to do it for you. The power and the responsibility are completely in your own hands, my friend. The 10 Habits are designed to help you maximise your potential and to enjoy life to the full. Many of these ideas have been synthesised from countless meetings and conversations with extremely successful individuals, people who went far beyond the theoretical stage and put the ideas powerfully and tenaciously into practice. Some of the techniques have an ancient lineage, often drawn from the traditions of civilisations that spent centuries exploring the underlying nature of the human condition.
As a species, we haven’t changed very much in millennia so the insights and conclusions are as useful for us today as they were for our distant ancestors all those thousands of years ago. Other methods are also drawn from the very latest and often surprising research into human brain function. Whatever the source, we’re bringing methods to you that work!
I want you to accept right now that you are the power source. You are the engine. Your actions will determine the outcome. This is not Harry Potter. This is the beautiful, real world where great things happen because great people – just like you – do the essential things that make a real difference to their lives. And that’s when truly amazing things happen.
So buckle up and enjoy the ride. The journey is about to begin!
Do you know your purpose? One of the most helpful and perhaps most powerful dynamics in our lives is having a really clear and well-defined sense of purpose. People with purpose don’t let obstacles get in their way. If you don’t have a purpose, it’s far too easy to drift through life without really knowing what you’re here for. So I’d like you to pause for a moment and ask yourself if you really know what you want.
Don’t rush and don’t be surprised if the answer is ‘No’. Most people don’t really know what they want beyond the demands and challenges of their daily existence. So your first task on this first day of revolutionising your life is to take a moment to reflect more deeply and see if you can work out what you really want. It’s your life here and I’m asking you to choose something worthwhile. It can be one of the most revealing exercises in your earthly existence. It can power you up and become your personal, daily source of inspiration. Take a piece of paper and a pen and write down your conclusions.
Write down a list of whatever you want. The list can include absolutely anything: material goods, wealth, better health, peace, great relationships. It’s your list. You write down whatever comes to mind. It’s a private list. It is not for sharing nor is it intended for discussion.
When you’ve finished, put the list somewhere safe and let it lie for a few days. Look at your ideas again in two or three days time. Review your list and see if your ideas, plans and goals look different. Feel free to alter, delete or amend anything. It’s your list. Which items really grab your attention? Which items give you an emotional buzz? Those are the items to start with. Now that you know which items are the most important, you need do something, anything, to make them a reality. Take some time to think about how you could achieve your goal. Get a little wild in your thinking. Get creative. Do some research. See what needs to be done to get you started.
Find your purpose. Then move towards it. Right now. The first step is always the most important.
Not a hippy mantra but a powerful insight into human creativity. Stress is a habit. An addictive behaviour that blights our lives and diminishes our natural creativity. Cultivating calm in our lives is a hidden and powerful secret that really increases and enhances our latent creativity. Calm helps us to focus on our tasks without the usual intrusions of tension or stress. Most of your stress is completely unnecessary and an obstacle to real progress. Stress is after all just a habit, a conditioned reflex that you learned in early childhood. A calm mind helps us to broaden our perspective, to remain centred. That inner stillness promotes feelings of confidence and a sense of being more deeply in tune with ourselves. The most effective way to bring calm into our lives is to breathe more deeply and more powerfully, slowing each breath until we begin to release our physical and emotional tension and let the calmness bring a deeper sense of peace to our thoughts and feelings.
Let calmness become your normal state of being and tap into your deeper layers of creativity. Do it now. Do it every day. Let this sense of calm become a natural extension of everything you do.
Do you get an energy boost from caffeine? Do you ever feel the need to revive your spirits with coffee or caffeine-based drinks? Like many people, I enjoy the taste of good coffee but, if you need a better energy boost, try breathing more deeply and see what happens when you introduce more oxygen into your body. Deeper breathing calms you down, energises your body, improves your thinking and lifts your spirits. And it’s totally free! I’m going to encourage you to breathe more deeply every day until it becomes a natural and life-enhancing habit that you perform without even thinking about it. It’s so powerful, I’m amazed you don’t need a prescription for it.
When you take a deeper breath, remember to keep your throat relaxed. If your throat begins to tense, you’ve filled your lungs as much as you need and you can begin to exhale. If you breathe out powerfully and feel you are really emptying your lungs, you’ll help your body to eliminate toxins and that will boost your energy and concentration levels. It’s a totally free and naturally energising process and it feels wonderful.
Take a moment to try it right now and notice the difference you can make just by breathing a little more deeply. Try it every hour to awaken and refresh your mind and body. Feel the power flowing through your body. This is nothing more than your natural energy circulating through your system and your body will be smiling in appreciation.
Hope I didn’t wake you but it’s time to welcome you to the importance of your dreams. Everything that happens in our lives is logged and recorded in our subconscious. Our conscious minds are occupied with the business of our daily existence but the vast resource of the subconscious is often neglected because it doesn’t share a common language with our waking, conscious minds.
Dreams provide a connection between the unconscious and conscious aspects of our minds. You can learn to recall your dreams as you wake up and even make notes about the symbolism that populates your dream world. Tell yourself before sleeping that you wish to remember your dreams at the moment of waking. The subconscious processes vast amounts of data and the conclusions are often revealed in dreams. This is a very powerful asset and extremely worthwhile in enhancing the quality of our lives, developing deeper understanding of ourselves and our circumstances, offering precise and timely insights into complex situations. Don’t neglect your dreams. It’s like having the latest Cray Supercomputer at your disposal and using an abacus. Dreams offer their highly personalised messages for your benefit and they are simply too important to neglect. Make a note to tell yourself to remember your dreams every night.
A number of highly successful individuals that I’ve worked with held their bodies in very high esteem. They treated their bodies with obvious respect and consideration. That meant that they took good care of themselves and that included their diet. In fact most of them preferred to eat quite simply and modestly but always in accordance with their body’s health requirements. It was one of the ways they stayed in shape and successfully dealt with the challenges that life would throw at them.
Food allergies create too many health problems today and that brings us to the important subject of food intolerance. The main culprits seem to be our old friends wheat and dairy products. The gluten in wheat and the casine in dairy products can produce a whole range of unpleasant reactions. We don’t have to be allergic to these substances. We only need to be mildly intolerant. The effects can accumulate over the course of our lifetime until the body begins to display stronger reactions, eventually leading to a range of avoidable health problems.
The answer is to cut gluten out of your diet for a couple of weeks and see if your health improves. The same approach can be adopted for dairy products. This simple experiment can lead to an overall reduction in allergies, reduce skin problems and inflammatory diseases, improve breathing and, amongst many other benefits, boost your energy levels. If you suspect that you have any food intolerances, take steps today to reduce your intake of potentially allergic foods and increase your well-being. If it’s true that we are what we eat, make today the day that you stop poisoning your body!
Expectations shape the outcome of many events in our lives. Does that sound realistic to you? Do our expectations really influence the way that things happen in our lives? Well, we need to consider the fact that so much happens in our lives as a result of our interaction with other people. If we develop positive expectations in our relationships, this attitude shapes how people react to us. A positive expectation shapes our perception of the world around us. Our brains process data according to these patterns of expectation. When we adopt a positive frame of mind, people mostly react to us in a similarly positive way. This positive behaviour can influence the way people behave towards us and that in turn produces positive results. So our expectations can profoundly influence the outcomes in our lives. Your mission is to learn to expect positive results from friends, family, colleagues and situations. Learn to see positive potential in every condition and circumstance.
Programme your brain to expect really great, positive outcomes. The results can be both revealing and very pleasantly surprising. You might notice that your positive attitude becomes contagious, encouraging the people around you to share in the group spirit of achievement and success.
Good sleep is a vital component of great health and a productive life but most of us haven’t developed the right habits before switching off the lights at night. We need to create a space between the day’s activities and our nightly rest period. This means no reading or television in the fifteen to twenty minutes before we go to sleep. Some experts recommend that we cut out all mental and visual stimulation for the three hours before we sleep but fifteen to twenty minutes should be enough time to switch off our mental activity and relax. That’s the essence of the technique. We switch off and relax. We relax our bodies, let go of all the stress points, breathe deeply and let the mind settle into a natural and relaxed state. This calms everything down and prepares us for rest, recovery and recuperation. You’ll notice the difference when you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to face anything the day might bring. That’s a truly great way to improve the quality of your life and put you into a very positive frame of mind every single day.
Busy people, busy lives and not enough time to take care of everything. Does that sound like you? We are often asked if there is one thing that busy people can do to make the greatest contribution to health and well-being. Is there one simple answer to this complex question? From a physical perspective, the single most important contribution to your health, strength and well-being is flexibility. That’s right. Flexibility.
People often give up exercise because it becomes painful. Lack of movement leads to a degeneration in joint mobility, a decline in strength and a marked reduction in overall physical and mental conditioning. This decline in exercise often leads to weight gain and movement becomes even more uncomfortable. The answer is in flexibility. Careful, gentle, daily stretching will enhance mobility even in the presence of injuries. Flexibility boosts mobility. If you can move, you can exercise. If you exercise, you get stronger, fitter, and healthier. Exercise boosts brain functioning.
The key to all these benefits is flexibility. A little stretching every day is one of the best long term investments in your health that you can make. You don’t even have to stand up to stretch. You can make gentle, controlled moves while seated. Just make sure every move is pain free and let your natural potential to be a little more supple show up in your posture.
Have you noticed how much healthier you look when you’ve been on holiday? Resting properly, relaxing, re-charging your batteries. If we consider the health benefits, we should be getting away for a break every month. Some productivity analysts would probably be horrified at the suggestion of more holidays but proper rest helps people to develop their creativity. Since holidays make such a welcome contribution to our well-being, we should find ways of bringing the holiday experience into our daily lives. This can be done by learning to release the stress that usually accompanies our daily working experience. Learning to relax more can help us to concentrate.
Breathing more efficiently can stimulate our thought processes. Feeling well at work means fewer sick days. Unlocking our tension can boost productivity. So even if it isn’t practical to take more holidays, learn to relax and bring that holiday feeling into work every day. The difference will surprise you. The health benefits alone more than justify the exercise. It’s all in your mind, my friend. Use your mind to recreate that relaxed and energy-filled state of wellness that you bring back from holiday. And let every day rock!
Who are you? The fundamental problem we face as humans is that we really don’t know who we are. This identity crisis creates inner tension and conflicting thoughts and feelings. We’re conditioned from early childhood to play a series of roles that help us fit into family, society, culture and the work place. But do any of these roles really represent who we are? More importantly, if we really don’t know who we are, how can we really expect to know who anyone else is? If there is one task in our lives that can resolve the really important questions about our existence, it is surely to understand at the deepest level who we are. This is a personal quest for which no adequate words exist. It is a process of realisation and understanding that shifts our awareness from the conditioned reflexes of early childhood into a richer and more meaningful expression of self. Ultimately, it is in answering this most demanding of questions that our purpose can be fully discerned and expressed. Meditation is the simplest way to explore the answer. Take a few minutes to slow down, breathe gently and relax. Let go of all the distractions around you. Let go of all the thoughts and feelings that float across the screen of your inner attention. Relax. Eventually your thoughts will become quieter and you’ll notice a shift in your perception. This is the real beginning of meditation. And people who meditate live longer, healthier lives. Within the stillness you’ll find all the answers you were looking for.
Cities have transformed our experience of life and have come to represent our definition of advanced civilisation. Most of us live or work in cities so I recommend that you take time whenever possible to visit the countryside, to breathe the fresh air, listen to the birdsong and feel that healing connection to nature that helps to relieve stress and anxiety. There is such an extraordinary contrast between the grey concrete of city centres and the living array of colour that we find in the forest. People speak of the primordial energy of the trees, the healing energy of woodland, the calming effect of simply walking through the natural environment. Sometimes the contrast between the familiar surroundings of the home or the office and the natural beauty of a park or woodland can help you to see things from a different perspective. You discover other approaches to your immediate challenges. Make a date to spend a few hours in the countryside. Make it a regular trip. Give yourself a few hours to re-connect with nature. Enjoy the gifts of the natural world. It will equip you perfectly to survive the concrete jungle!
You’ve got parents. That’s how you got here. Our first relationships in life are with our parents. It is very important for our health and well-being to be at peace with this primary relationship. If we have problems or conflicts in this area, the problems will show up in every other relationship we try to build. Today is the day to fix this fundamental problem. We have a very strong motivator to find peace with our parents, to thank them for everything they did for us, to let go of any lingering conflicts and find true peace in this most basic dynamic that affects every aspect of our lives. It can be helpful to see our parents as people who did the best they could with what they knew. Let go of the need to judge them. Give thanks for their love and every other relationship in your life will benefit. Tell them you love them. Every day. Parents never get tired of hearing the words of love from their children.
Work is important. It dominates so much of our lives. It provides a way for us to earn a living and can offer a productive outlet for our energies. But do you define yourself mainly in terms of what you do every day? Is your job title the definition of who you are? I would hope that you can find a better and deeper expression of your identity that transcends the description of what you do at work.
Ultimately, our work should provide a natural extension of our deeper sense of who we are, a way to channel our abilities into a satisfying and productive way to lead our lives. It can be extremely worthwhile and revealing to ask ourselves if our work really provides the best outlet for our abilities. It’s too easy to let the pressures and habits of our daily routine take over our lives but, if we really do not express ourselves satisfactorily, we build up tension and resentment that can erode our health and wellbeing.
So take a moment to ask yourself if you really are where you belong, doing what you should be doing, living the life that would allow you to express yourself completely. If you feel that you need to make a change, the only time to do it is now. If the change is too daunting, think about any skills that you might need to change your career and take classes. Make the change more comfortable. But make the change.
There’s too much stress in our lives and part of transformation programme is to encourage you to release the daily accumulation of tension and learn to relax. Sometimes the day is just too busy, the pressure is constant and we become so completely engaged with our To Do list that we forget to take a moment to unlock our shoulders, breathe deeply and release the physical stress from our back and neck muscles.
So I want you to develop a fantastic habit for your well-being. At the top of every hour, remember to breathe deeply, relax your shoulders and give your body a moment or two to let go of the stress. It’s so simple but so important for your health and well-being and you’ll begin to notice the difference immediately. At the top of the hour – breathe and relax.
Physical exercise is a vital component in our health and wellness routines but we tend to neglect the importance of training the mind. Our thoughts and feelings seem to have a life of their own and refuse to follow our directions. But it is possible to exercise greater control over our thoughts and feelings by developing awareness, becoming conscious of how our thoughts arise and pausing to release them, learning to become more detached until we can begin to choose our thoughts more carefully.
This is the gateway to inner peace and a valuable tool for well-being. Begin gently by pausing for a moment and noticing what’s going on around you. Notice the details. See everything that’s happening and switch on your awareness. Breathe. Notice your thoughts and feelings and relax. This is the foundation of mindfulness and one of the gateways to liberation.
What’s missing from your life? Take a few minutes to relax and check your secret list of everything that you feel you’d like to have in your life. See if you can extend list to include fifty items. Begin with your material circumstances. When you’ve covered the obvious areas of physical comfort and security, list the things that you feel are missing in other areas of your daily experience. Remember, this list is not for sharing. It’s for your eyes only. You’re free to write down anything that occurs to you. You don’t have to explain the list. It’s a reference point for future developments. When you’re finished, put the list somewhere safe. Take it out again in a week’s time and read through it. See if anything needs to be changed. Now choose the items that you feel are essential but missing from your life and make a plan to bring them into your life. Then take action to make the plan a reality. Now.
If you ever experience difficulty sleeping or feel that you could sleep better, there are many factors to consider that can influence your nightly rest. Diet plays its part. Poor circulation or lack of exercise can also interfere with your sleep. But most of us get into bed with all of the stresses and strains of the day on our minds and in our posture. So, when you go to bed tonight, try a different approach. We touched on sleep on Day Two but it’s such an important subject that we’ll remind you to follow these principles until they become a natural habit at bedtime.
First of all, don’t read or watch television for the twenty minutes before you intend to sleep. If you over-stimulate your mind, it will be harder to fall asleep. Next, learn to relax your body, your entire body, from head to toe. Relax your face, neck, shoulders, limbs – everything. And breathe a little more deeply, gently inflating the chest, holding the breath for a second or two, then breathing out slowly and deeply. This simple process can help you to unwind, slow down, relax and prepare for sleep. Don’t skip this essential ingredient in your Total Transformation Programme. Great sleep improves every aspect of our lives and the Programme won’t deliver all of its amazing benefits unless you follow the powerful evening routine for great sleep.
You’ll notice the difference when you wake up and feel more refreshed, more energetic, calmer and ready for whatever the day may bring you. A better night’s sleep will help your mind and body recover from the pressures of the day and equip you to become more resistant to stress as each day unfolds. Learn to relax. And breathe.
Learning to relax is an essential component of our strategy for wellness but it’s helpful to remember that our bodies also evolved to move. We spend so much of our time sitting down that it’s easy to forget the importance of physical exercise. Our bodies really need to move. Movement is essential to our long term health. It’s incredible to think that in the developed world most people rarely take any form of physical exercise. This contributes to health problems, including heart disease, obesity and a general deterioration in the quality of life. Most of the hyper-successful people I’ve worked with made sure they were in good shape and took regular exercise. The physical workouts helped them cope more effectively with stress, sleep better and get more done. Exercise enhances energy levels.
Our bodies need exercise to improve health, to reduce the effects of stress, to maximise our efficiency and improve our chances of having a long life. Our bodies are the only place we live in for the whole of our lives. Let’s make a commitment to making our bodies as comfortable, healthy and happy as possible. We owe it to ourselves. Walking is a great way to kick start the body’s potential for greater fitness. If you haven’t exercised in a while, start gently and make sure you have no pain or discomfort. All you need is a pair of comfortable shoes and a place to walk. Not too difficult, eh? Begin today.
I always encourage people to exercise, to move their bodies and develop better physical fitness. This is the only body we get to live in so we need to take great care of it. Being able to move without pain or discomfort is essential to long term health. Flexibility becomes even more important as we get older, so the sooner we start stretching, the sooner we enjoy the benefits.
One of the best times to stretch is first thing in the morning as we get out of bed. Slow, gentle, relaxed movements, avoiding any painful positions, will set us up for the day and gradually build a strong base for long term suppleness. The secret is to take a few minutes to stretch carefully every day rather than over-stretching once a week. If you’re patient and persistent, the results will surprise you and you’ll develop a much healthier relationship with your body’s strength, flexibility and well-being. You may find that persistent, nagging pains are eased as you begin to move your body and improve circulation. The body has remarkable powers to heal and repair itself. Switch on that potential with regular movement.
What is the value of your word? Do you give it without any sense of obligation or commitment? Do you say ‘Yes’ just to please people? When your word is strong, it acquires tremendous power. When you say ‘Yes’ with absolute conviction, you imbue your words with power. There is a real sense that having said ‘Yes’, whatever you’ve agreed to will come to pass. You convey certainty because your word has power. It’s equally important to be able to say ‘No’ as well. Whichever words you choose, let them convey clarity and certainty. This simple act opens your life to deeper levels of expression and power. You will notice that you consider your words more carefully before using such a potent means of expression. When you feel the power in your word, you learn to exercise discretion and this change in your tone adds weight to your words. When you hear your word for the first time, imbued with power and clarity, you’ll feel the change within you. It’s beautiful.
We often hear the expression ‘Practise makes perfect’ but this is not the case. Practise – makes permanent! If we always repeat the same actions, we can expect the same results. If we want things to be different, this implies that we must do things differently. If we always do things the same way, think the same thoughts, generate the same old familiar feelings, things will remain exactly as they are.
If we really want to create improvement and change in our lives, we have to change what we do, how we think and how we feel. Change the formula of your behaviour and you massively increase the probability of creating real change in your life.
Start by choosing how you want things to be. Choose how you want to feel. Then examine how your present actions are creating the outcomes in your life. This is the pathway to lasting improvement. Even small changes can produce extraordinary results.
We are all deeply affected by our emotional energy. Our feelings influence how we relate and connect to other people and some would say that life is essentially an emotional experience. But our health and well-being are often at the mercy of our emotional responses.
It’s time to bring our feelings more closely under our control. It’s time to learn to relax and give up the habit of responding instantly to every situation with a ready-made set of feelings. Pause for a moment. Ask yourself where all these feelings come from. Breathe deeply. Relax your shoulders. Find a calmer state of mind. Now you’re learning to control your thoughts and your feelings. You are allowing yourself to feel stable, centred, calm and in control. This is the foundation of well-being. You no longer have to react the way you were taught as a small child. Now you have options. Your analytical, higher brain function can assess the situation objectively. Now you can choose better emotional responses and free yourself from your early conditioning.Forever.
Our capacity to focus can produce an extraordinary intensity in our lives. What do you focus on? Do you find yourself thinking about the problems and difficulties in your life? Or do you deliberately look for the positive, affirming and fulfilling aspects of your daily experience? It’s surprising how our consciousness filters out so much information and tends to notice the things we want to see. If we are intent on seeing difficulties, disappointment, problems and unhappiness, our awareness will narrow our field of vision to pick up these negative elements.
But if we look for positive data, things to celebrate, experiences that help the spirits soar and the heart to feel glad, it’s amazing how our perception shifts to accommodate these positive and life-enhancing phenomena. We really are surrounded by good things. It’s vital for our well-being that we learn to notice them. Winners always look for the signs of victory. Look out for them and you’ll be surprised how often you find them.
How do you react when problems show up in your life? Do the unexpected changes in your day push you off course? Do you feel angry or frustrated? Do you forget what you were aiming to achieve? It’s during these moments of frustration that we must focus on our goals. Sometimes the problems are just part of the bigger picture and even though they may cause a change in direction, they must not deter you from your objectives.
So what is more important to you? The goal you’ve chosen for yourself? Or the pathway that takes you there? Don’t mistake the pathway for the destination. Focus on your goal and though the pathway may twist and turn, you will most certainly reach your chosen destination. Learn to take problems in your stride, confident in your ability to reach your goals, and direct your energy towards the results that you intend to bring into our live.
Are you affected by the weather? Most of us admit to mood changes according to the daily weather pattern and we all know how much easier it is to feel happy when the sky is blue and sun is shining brightly. But do you want to surrender your feelings to the lottery of the weather forecast?
The sun always shines, even when hidden by the clouds. Close your eyes. Imagine the sun shining brightly above you. Feel its warmth on your skin. Bask in its life-affirming radiance. Now you can feel the benefit of perfect weather all year round! Everything is a product of the way we filter the information around us. Even when you imagine the sunshine, you begin to feel better immediately. All it takes is a moment of visualisation and we can train the mind and body to respond instantly to our will. This is a powerful technique. Use it every single day until it feels completely natural.
Success does not necessarily happen easily. It does not happen but accident. Super-successful individuals usually put this quality at the top of their hit list guaranteeing extraordinary results. Persistence is a critical factor in achieving our goals. If we could add one element to the daily equation of achieving our aims, it would be to keep on trying. Never give up. Keep your goal in front of you. All the time. Put pictures on your wall. Stick messages on your computer screen. Remind yourself at every level of what you want. Keep Post It notes in your purse. Broadcast the message to yourself all the time. Never get discouraged. Persist. Insist. Keep moving towards your goals every single day.
If one method or pathway doesn’t take you where you want to go, don’t change the destination. Hold fast to your heartfelt desires and be prepared to change the way you get there. Change the pathway, not the goal. It might take effort. It will certainly take commitment. But once you’ve visualised your destination, start living into it, imagining the great feelings you’ll experience when you get what you’ve chosen. This engages the subconscious to work with you rather than against you. Take heart. Have courage. Keep going. Persist.
We’ve all heard or read the expression ‘The attitude of gratitude’ and I’d like to remind you of the deeper value of this affirmation. When you cultivate a deep appreciation of all the wonderful things in your life, you focus less on what you think is missing and begin to value the gifts that life has brought you. You learn to appreciate the fruits of your efforts, your productivity and your success.
This feeling resonates in our subconscious and influences our thoughts, feelings and behaviour in a very positive manner. By turning our attention towards the positive elements in our lives, we begin to notice more reasons to celebrate our good fortune, we begin to feel more appreciative of the good things that make life such a rich experience. This leads to the discovery of more positive outcomes. Gratitude is one of the foundation stones of success. Find three reasons right now to be grateful. Write them down and feel the difference this makes to your day.
Success can be defined in many different ways. Your personal sense of success is very important but are you comfortable with other people’s success? If you can celebrate and enjoy other people’s success, you will become more open to success in your own life. A mean spirit impoverishes the soul. Give yourself the freedom to feel good about other people’s success, celebrate their triumphs, promotions, victories and happiness. Then you will find it so much easier to recognise and celebrate these events in your own life. Be generous in all aspects of your life and life will be generous towards you. We grow in stature when we free ourselves from the pettiness of jealousy. Life looms larger when we free ourselves from the delusion that there isn’t enough to go round. There’s more than enough success for everyone. Confirm that fact by celebrating other people’s achievements whenever you come across them.
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Success in our culture is often measured in financial terms but how do you feel about money? What is your real relationship with cash? It might come as a surprise but many people feel very uncomfortable about money. It’s a source of enormous stress. Most people feel they have too little and many don’t even believe they deserve the money they get. So if you want to overcome your negative reactions about money – fear, doubt, anxiety, guilt – you have to start by feeling completely comfortable with money. This takes practice. A benevolent force with a smiling face that wants to help you in any way it can. It can be very helpful to think about money as if it were a living entity, something you can be friends with, something you can welcome happily into your wallet and into your life.
This change in attitude resonates in the subconscious and can produce remarkable results in your attitude and feelings towards cash. Make friends with money and take notice of the changes this makes in your life. You might be very pleasantly surprised.
Physical health can be dramatically improved by good diet and intelligent exercise, but do you take time to exercise your mind? Do you train your mind to think the thoughts that you want it to think? Does your mind obey you? Training the body is admirable. Training the mind leads to mastery of ourselves. We are very much the products of our early childhood conditioning. Learning to advance our mental and emotional potential means leaving these old habits behind so that we may develop more appropriate responses. Train the mind gently to follow your will and discover the power of focus, concentration and a broader, renewed perspective. Start gently with simple tasks. Learn to visualise a simple object with your eyes closed until you can see it with your mind’s eye in every detail. Then learn to remove the image from your mind. Completely. Then bring it back. This unusual training develops extraordinary powers of mental focus and concentration. It’s an ancient technique for developing the will and that is a gift of immeasurable importance in anyone’s life today.
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