I received an email the other day from one of our customers. "Please help. I am desperate. My life is a mess. I have read your book, The Initiation. I think it's true what you say, but nothing is working for me."
Of course, I responded. It was more than a plea for help, it was a challenge.
So we got into some back and forth emails, questions and answers, clarifications and finally this firm suggestion from me.
"You absolutely must change your habitual way of doing things and thinking about things. Otherwise you are going to continue to get the same results.
"Philosophy, self-help books and all other educational material is ONLY GOOD IF IT IS APPLIED to the way you live your life. It does no good gathering dust on your bookshelf or even bouncing around in your head. It is the application that produces results, not the information."
"Ok. I am prepared to change. What should I do?" is what I get back from him.
So, I made a simple list of things to do every day. Maybe 1 hour's worth of extra activity. Likely less.
What I get back is amazing. First there is a list of reasons why half the things I suggest cannot be done by him. Then there are questions about why I think it necessary to do the other things on the list. He thinks that they are a waste of time. And, besides which, he certainly has no extra time in the day. He is already overworked and does not spend enough time with his wife.
Now, I already know from our previous emails what his days look like. He spends about half his evenings sitting on the couch with his wife, watching TV. So I write back and tell him his excuse about no time does not wash. He should take some of his TV time and start making his life work better. He replies that he is unwilling to give up any TV time because that is the only time he and his wife have together and he's not willing to give that up because their relationship is already in trouble.
I am tempted to quit right then and there. I mean this guy either just does not get it or he is playing me along like some fish he has hooked. Maybe he's just another emotional vampire. I've seen enough of those over the years. Maybe if I was a psychotherapist, I'd look forward to dealing with this kind of nonsense, but...
So, I write back one last time. Maybe I can shock him...
"Ok. Here is how it is for you...
"You are a prisoner. You have built the walls that hold you captive yourself. You have locked the only door and you have quite plainly told me that you have thrown away the only key...your willingness to change.
"Even if I came and forced the door open, you'd refuse to leave your safe little jail.
"So quit pretending; quit crying for help. Until you decide to break free from your self-imposed chains, no book, no bell and no candle will help you."
This is what he replies with, "I knew that you were a fake. You only pretended to know the answers."
I relate this now because I think that each of us has some of my friend in us. We are habituated to feeling, thinking and acting in certain ways. We are not always pleased with the results we end up with, but we absolutely refuse to consider that what we are and what we do produces the results we are getting. We refuse to change and we blame the world for the way things are.
This is not a new theme. It bears repeating though, because our habits come back to haunt us time and time again. We are imprisoned by our addictions, our habitual way of being.
We go to a seminar or read a book and are inspired to make a little change in attitude or thinking process. Suddenly life seems better. Then some guy cuts us off in traffic or the stock market drops 500 points or it rains on our parade and we are back to thinking and acting the same old way. And, strangely, life seems to be tough again.
All that positive thinking stuff is just BS you tell yourself and anyone who will listen. I tried it and still got @* on. Somehow it doesn't occur to us to notice that we have returned to our previous habits. The ones we had already decided to change. Like the junkie who wears long sleeves to hide the needle scars, we clothe the proof of our returned habits of non-productive thinking, feeling and acting in excuses and diversions, in blame and justification.
Fundamental change occurs only when we make the firm and irrevocable choice to change who we are and what we do. Conditional change does not work. You can't do "I'll try it out; see if it works and then decide." or "I'll take this path only until I come to a fork in the road."
Tools for transformation are like all tools. They don't work because of their pretty packages. They don't work because you own them. They don't work because somebody else says they do. They work because you use them and they work only when you use them. When you stop using them, they stop working.
We don't expect an electric drill to drill holes when it is sitting on the work bench; but somehow we expect that little change of heart or change of mind we had promised to make yesterday when we read that self-help book, to be still working today even though we have put it back on the shelf and went back to watching TV.
Your life is what you make it. It can be a mess or a masterpiece.
"There are many who find a good alibi far more attractive than an achievement. For an achievement does not settle anything permanently.
We still have to prove our worth anew each day: we have to prove that we are as good today as we were yesterday. But when we have a valid alibi for not achieving anything we are fixed, so to speak, for life.
Moreover, when we have an alibi for not writing a book, painting a picture, and so on, we have an alibi for not writing the greatest book and not painting the greatest picture.
Small wonder that the effort expended and the punishment endured in obtaining a good alibi often exceed the effort and grief requisite for the attainment of a most marked achievement."
© Leslie Fieger. All rights reserved worldwide.
Leslie is the author of The DELFIN Knowledge System Trilogy: The Initiation, The Journey and The Quest plus many more success publications. He also the co-author of The End of the World with Hugh Jeffries and Alexandra's DragonFire with his daughter Ashley. Subscribe to his free and ad-free eZine at http://www.ProsperityParadigm.com or http://www.LeslieFieger.com.
Reprinting and republishing of this article is granted only with the above credit included. Permission to reprint or republish does not waive any copyright.
Nine Reasons To Embrace Failure
I've always heard that "public speaking" is the number one most common fear. According to a recent survey I conducted in my e-newsletter, however, this is not the case.
It's early January as I sit down to research and write this newsletter. I launch my web browser, surf over to MSN.
Why it Pays to Have a Definite Life Purpose
When was the last time you were asked, what is your "Definite Life Purpose"?It is not like everyday we go around asking friends or family what their definite life purpose is or even talk about it. However, knowing what your definite life purpose is, will help you stay focused, accomplish your goals faster, and bring about the kind of results you would like to have in your life.
Whats Stopping You?
We're all familiar with the cycle:We want new, but resist change.We want satisfaction, but procrastinate.
Who are they to say it cant be done?
Doesn't it just burn you up when you have just shared your 'great idea' with someone and not only are they not as enthusiastic as you, they even go as far as to say your idea won't work! Trust me if this has happened to you you're not alone.In such instances we generally have two choices.
"Only as high as I reach can I grow, Only as far as I seek can I go, Only as deep as I look can I see, Only as much as I dream can I be" Karen RavenIn spite of the unpredictable weather (tropical heat, then snow blizzards!) it is Spring! (Or is it early Summer? I can't tell!) With Spring comes the chance to be outside more - even if it is dodging between rain showers! I know, the weather isn't really playing ball at the moment, but couldn't you be? After a winter conserving energy and warmth inside, and of lovely comfort foods, it is time to shake yourself off and become more active, to add more movement to your life and to begin to breathe.When you wake in the morning, instead of rolling out of bed groaning, take a moment to throw back the covers, raise your arms above your head and stretch! Take deep breaths and really welcome the start of a new day.
The Seven Keys to Motivation
Motivation. It's a complicated subject that is studied by many and understood by few.
Motivation: 3 Suggestions for Living a Life of Purpose, On Purpose
"There's so many roads that seem, To lead down to the sea.I wonder which road, will be the right one for me?"- SeawindI heard these lyrics on an old jazz tape the other day.
Procrastination Strategies: Boost Your Productivity by Getting On With It
We all suffer from procrastination from time to time but rather than fight it, think of procrastination as a gift. This gift allows you to get clarity on what is important to you and what you should work on next.
Ten Major Causes of Failure
-Lack of a specific purpose in life. You can not hope to succeed in any field of your life if you don't have a central purpose.
Your Most Important Opportunity says a top UK Personal Development Coach
For some people this article will turn out to be one of the most important things they've ever read.I say this because some people are ready to get to grips with life.
When the Door of Opportunity Opens
Anybody can achieve anything - do you believe that? I do. But there is a caveat that must be made.
"There are only two ways of bringing brightness into your world; either change your attitude or open the closed doors of your brain"This holds true in all our lives; we all deserve a good & peaceful life, full of happiness. Our struggle to lead a better life and to grow everyday, both professionally and personally is highly appreciable; time and again we face situations which are highly abstruse, stress building and killer of our enthusiasm and high morale.
Motivation: The Cure for Complacency
Q. I've always tried to work hard enough to provide for my family and be content.
That One Thing That Guarantees Your Unlimited Motivation And Success
What can you do when you do not feel like getting started? When procrastination takes over..
Getting What You Really Want
Everyone wants something in life, love, money, success, recognition ..
Getting Started is the Toughest Part of the Job
One of the most challenging things about starting on a new project, goal or task usually isn't the planning, the thinking about it and the mapping it out. It is the doing! Actually taking the first step is often the most difficult part of any new endeavor.
You are the Master of Your Destiny
Every thought of a human being is transformed as picture in everybody's mind.The picture transformed into your mind will be depending upon your thought.
Success -- The Key and the Fire
Self-discipline is a powerful tool that can help you accomplish about anything you can dream or imagine. Self-discipline is the act of controlling our emotions, actions, thoughts, words and personal direction.
How Much Risk Is Too Much To Take?
The ladder was braced against the railings going to the basement. I started climbing up.