New Year’s Resolutions

Have you ever decided to make a change, and have you made it a New Year’s Resolution? And this time you decided to really go all the way and make the changes only to find that you – yet again – slipped off the trail. And this time you really had everything in place! Or at least so you thought…

I like to make plans; actually I have liked them my entire life! If the initial plan wouldn’t work, then I’d make another plan, more comprehensive, more appealing, more detailed etc. Of course, this plan too would be broken in the shortest time… and then again, I’d go back to the drawing board. At some point I had a revelation: people make plans to just have what to do! And it really was a time when I believed that plans are something you do just to have what to break. Like setting rules you then joyously break, asserting your freedom to change your mind. No need to say what age I was then!

As time passed I felt less the need to assert anything, I started being concerned with being true to myself, without confining myself under any label – just knowing that I’ll always make the best decision based on the information I would have. And if I had more information, I might make a different decision next time… And that’s alright too!

I believe we impose upon ourselves far too strict rules and when we cannot meet them, we judge ourselves harshly and incessantly. We are far better when we realize that we might want to experience abundance, just because we’ve seen so far how it was without it; and we want to experience health, since we’ve already seen how it is not having it – and this fully knowing, acknowledging and realizing that the curiosity for what’s on the other side will never – nor is it intended to – stop or disappear.

This curiosity is the motivation that allows us to change constantly. We are not the person we were a couple of months ago, let alone a few years back! We do change based on the experiences we had, on the interests we have pursued and the dreams we focus on. And just because these changes are happening at the unconscious level, we usually are not even aware of them and then when we want to make a change consciously, we automatically put so much pressure on it as if we’d not know how to do it… we expect it to be hard… and therefore it is!

This brings me to a very dear topic: our perception and it’s pivotal influence on our entire reality. We can perceive something to be true and for us it is the truth and the whole truth. However since our brain has the capacity to process only a fraction of all that happens around us every moment, “the truth” is merely our own truth. And there are a multitude (not to say an infinity) of truths that all are valid and real, and that we are unaware of. No one truth can be better than another one, or superior or exclusive. All these truths are coexisting and we will do us a favour to acknowledge this. The less involved we are in the need of being right, the more fluidity, coherence and flow we allow in our lives.

Therefore, whether or not we make a decision to change, just be assured that the opportunities for learning will present themselves regardless, and therefore we will change continuously anyway. As my hypnosis teacher always says: “you’re done when you’re dead!”. There is no other way: the entire Universe is designed to expand and us too! And we do it with or without being aware of it happening.

Now, if you want to have control over your life, you might want to decide to design your life, to make conscious changes, to set goals, milestones etc. The key to this is to really make the decision, meaning to be prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve your goal, as long as it’s ecological, ethical and in the best interest of all involved. This is not for everyone – only for those who feel an immense urge and need to take into their own hands how/what happens in/with their lives. You will still have to learn – mind you – however you might just decide to learn easily and effortlessly….

So next time we decide to make a New Year’s Resolution, it might help to know that we need to engage some discipline and be prepared to do whatever it takes. Change does happen instantly only at the unconscious level and it happens anyway without us interfering consciously. However when we want to design that change, then it is originated consciously and there’s a bit more work to be done. As long as we know that and prepare for it, there’s no limit to what we can achieve (as long as we can imagine it, but that’s another exciting topic)!

Perfectionism, Incremental Improvement and Happiness

A person has recently told me that he is a perfectionist. I instantly remembered a time when I was proud of being one too, and then I remembered I actually was quite unhappy at that time too…

Have you been in a place where although nothing was “wrong” per se, you had this continued feeling of not being good enough, not having done enough, that every little thing could have been better than it was? This is a negative spiral and is a powerful trap. It might seem to lead you to excellence, however what it truly achieves is the exact opposite.

If we focus on what is not done, what is not enough and what is not perfect we doom ourselves to never be able to improve. For achieving excellence we need a certain mindset that cannot coexist with feelings of lack and limitation. It is biologically impossible! If we constantly compare ourselves with others we will underestimate our own achievements and our own qualities, so we will start running strategies that neurologically cannot nurture improvements. This has been richly researched and we have marvelous studies published on this subject in highly regarded fields like epigenetics and positive psychology.

When we decide to compare ourselves to us only, and to act towards improvements, then we start building a healthy mindset. By asking ourselves “how can I …?” we will find useful, practical ideas that will enable us to become better and better each day. When we  plant in our being this search for incremental improvements we are in congruency with the biological makeup of our body. There is an incremental improvement principle at work in our inherent healing mechanisms, whether it is a surgery scar or an internal organ that needs to be healed. And, even better, incremental improvement does not necessary require a long amount of time! Our mindset is the most powerful environment that is decisive in this matter and we need to carefully monitor it.

Next we need to ratify the change by keeping track of the daily improvements that we see. These constitute evidence for your unconscious mind and work as fuel for our newly designed mindset. All of a sudden we will know we are on track towards our specific desired outcome.  Any deviation you recognize should not cause any concern. All planes in the air are 90% of the time off-track, however they usually arrive at the destination just because during the entire flight the deviation is monitored and corrected (“course correction”), increment by increment in the direction needed. Therefore – all is in good order and you are on your way!

How does it feel to be a man/women on a mission?! Do I sense sparks of happiness? You chuckle, and for good reasons: happiness is produced by having simultaneous two ingredients: present pleasures or enjoyments (like a daily log of incremental improvements) and a meaningful goal we work towards (our specific desire we want to accomplish). And trust me, I am studying this fascinating field of happiness for four full years now! Happiness is what we were built for! Let’s honor it!

A Chinese Proverb says….

… “If there is a solution,
then why worry?
And if there is no solution,
then why worry?”

I have just lived a couple of days ago this proverb and I feel I have to share with you this amazing experience. Very early in that morning I just had been coached by my business coach and at the end of the session had a clear plan on what I was to do for the day, however I did not possibly see when and how I could chip off of my overbooked schedule the few hours that I estimated it would take me to finish all. So I just decided to JUST LET IT BE!

Well, what happened next was that during the day I started, little by little, easily, casually and unintentionally to get things done that were part of my list from the coach. And I did not see the picture of it, as it all was bits and pieces, until it downed on me at the end of the day: I actually did do all I had to do! And then I realized that I’ve just noticed the unconscious mind at work!

The first technique of engaging the power of the unconscious mind in our day to day life is to ask it “how can I do this?” then let it be! And so – even while we attend other tasks – the unconscious mind has such an extraordinary gift for all of us: it goes on an unstoppable search for valid solutions and shows them up casually. We might think that we take a break to “relax” from the scheduled projects, when we actually start putting pieces of a puzzle together and then, voila! At the end of the day we are mesmerized by the magnitude and beauty of the picture we just painted throughout the day.

We talk here about a well regarded science of how to accomplish and reproduce excellence. This is information that Prime Ministers, Presidents and Captains of Industry have access to and learn how to utilize effortlessly. The Study of Excellence has cleared and answered a few question for me. It might do the same for you.