Stories I only tell my friends: The Power Of Belief-System

December 20, 2012

If you are too comfortable and not being challenged then something is wrong.

Filed under: Uncategorized — mylittleblackpen @ 12:24 pm

Motivation Myth

“The Sky Has Never Been The Limit”

Motivation myth- introduction
What exactly are you capable of achieving? What is a realistic expectation for your life and what constitutes sheer madness? Is there a limit to how high you should aim?

The simple answer to these questions is simply that you are capable of achieving anything you set your mind to; if you can think it, then it’s a realistic expectation; and you can aim as high as you want.

Motivation myth- the sky has never been the limit
We have probably all heard the “wise” saying: “the sky is the limit.” This would seem to have a lot of wisdom in it at first glance. However, it implies that man’s potential has a limit when in actual fact, man’s potential is limitless. Let’s examine what exactly your potential as a human being is.

Firstly, let’s define potential. Potential is all that you can be, but have not yet become. It is all you can accomplish, but have not yet accomplished. It is unexposed or dormant ability.

This means that the ability to become and to do is already there. It just hasn’t been brought out and utilized.

Consider a fertilized human egg (zygote). That single cell has the ability to form every part of the human body. Everything from your brain to your toenails can be formed by that single cell. It has unlimited potential.

Motivation myth- your potential is limitless
Similarly, the mind of man has unlimited potential. It has the limitless ability to create. Man has been on earth for thousands of years, yet we are still making new discoveries today and creating new things everyday. We cannot exhaust the creative power of our minds.

The functioning of our minds remains, for the most part, a mystery even to modern day science. But even though we do not understand it’s functioning, we cannot deny its power.

Motivation myth- you have the power within
Your most powerful asset is your mind. The answer to the question ‘what is a realistic goal and what is achievable’ is entirely up to you. If your mind can accept that something is achievable, it will find a way to attain that thing.

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” These are the immortal words of Napoleon Hill, a man who truly understood that “there are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge.”

Your possibilities are limited only by your thinking. What may be a limit for one person is a walk in the park for another. It’s all in the mindset.

Your potential as a human being, then, is unlimited. You have within you the ability to become and to achieve anything you want. Now that you understand that your potential is limitless, your next challenge is to answer the question: what do you want out of life?

Motivation myth- think of the possibilities
Before you start scratching your head and making excuses, let me help you a little. If money, education, social status and so on, were no hindrance what would you want out of life? If all the knowledge and wealth in the world were at your disposal what would you want to be and to do?

Even with all the resources at your disposal, it is very likely that you would still struggle to come up with 3 goals that you are absolutely passionate about and to which you would dedicate every waking hour. Therein lies the problem – it is not your possibilities that are limited, it is your thinking!

Your vision is limited only by you. The problem is that you don’t know what you should be. It’s not your fault, really: your education has messed you up. It has taken your boundless potential and shrunk it and shaped it into a narrow title. You are a “nurse”, or “accountant” or “driver”.

It doesn’t matter what title has been placed on you, you need to break free from it. You are not what you do. See yourself as the truly capable human being that you are.

Motivation myth- cultivate the right mindset
This requires that you look deep within and examine your mindset. Are there things you have accepted simply because everyone else seems to accept them? Have you accepted society’s standards as your own?

A word of caution: society celebrates mediocrity. Ordinary people do not like it when others get ahead. It only exposes their lack of vision and motivation. That is why mediocrity is often embraced and excellence is shunned. Being ordinary is acceptable.

If you want more, there is something wrong with you.If something is widely accepted and everyone is doing it, it is probably better for you as a dreamer not to do it. If you want to get what everyone else is getting, do what everyone else is doing.

It is not difficult to see the results others are getting from what they are doing. The good news is you don’t have to do what they are doing. Find your own way. Utilise the potential within you.

Dig out your potential like a prospector digs for oil. The oil has always been there just waiting to be tapped. But if no one bothered to search for it and bring it to the surface it would just remain there dormant, wasting and useless.

So it is with your potential. If you do not challenge yourself to grow beyond your present circumstances, it will just waste away and be totally useless not only to you, but to the rest of humanity.

Motivation myth- conclusion
Do not rob this country of such a great resource as yourself. Utilise your potential. Be all that you can be so that when you die, you will have utilized every single drop of your being.

Marianne Williamson said – “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”

You are all you can be. Go on and be it.

Motivation Empowerment

“The Lost Puppet”

Motivation Empowerment – introduction
Who is pulling your strings? Who is in control of your life and your destiny? Do you have a clear picture of where you are and where you are going or are you blinded and walking around in a daze?

If you are curious enough and look around you, it won’t take much to come to the conclusion that most people are living like lost puppets. They have lost all control of their lives and live according to what circumstance dictates.

Even sadder is the fact that most have resigned themselves to the situation and see no way out of the drudgery, meaninglessness and emptiness of their lives. There are perhaps the fortunate ones, who realize that something is wrong. The more unfortunate do not even realize the futility of their existence.

Motivation Empowerment – the lost puppet
“Lost puppets” is a sad, but true way to describe such people. They are “lost” because they are either reading the wrong road map of life or they are using the correct map but going in the wrong direction. They are “puppets” because they are not in the driver’s seat! Someone else is pulling the strings.

If you want to get around in Lusaka you will use a map of Lusaka and not one of New York. So to get around in life you need to have the correct road map of life. This road map represents your beliefs and attitudes. Your beliefs and attitudes have to be consistent with the truth.

Motivation Empowerment – get the right knowledge
It is your responsibility to get the correct knowledge so you can have the correct road map of life. Ignorance is no defense. Ignorance will kill you.

The old saying that “what you don’t know won’t hurt you” is not true. What you don’t know can and will hurt you. If you don’t know that you can be wealthy, you will live below your capabilities. If you don’t know that life can and should be enjoyed, you will spend your days in misery.

If you don’t know that you too can be great, you will die in mediocrity and all we will know about you is what school you went to and who you worked for. That is what is said at most funerals and I often ask myself: “is there nothing more that could be said about this person’s life? Did their being in this world make no difference to anyone else’s life?”

W.W. Ziege sums up the issue of our road map well when he says: “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help with man with the wrong mental attitude.”

Motivation Empowerment – get in the driver’s seat
Moving on to the second point, you need to be in the driver’s seat of your life. You are? Are you sure? A lot of us have given our lives over to others without even realizing it. We let our careers or jobs dictate what we do and when we do it.

Most times it is our parents, spouses, friends or neighbours that determine what we do with our lives. We have given them power over our lives because we do not know what we personally want. The trouble is, neither do they. They are likely to be lost puppets as well.

The truth is that while you are not totally responsible for what does and doesn’t happen to you, you are responsible for how you respond to what happens to you. The truth also involves acknowledging that there are some things that are within your control and others that you cannot do anything about. If you focus your time and energy on the things you can change and stop worrying about the things you cannot change, your life will improve immeasurably.

Motivation Empowerment – what do you want, really?
Have you ever sat down and written clearly what you want your life to be? Have you designed your ideal life? You are not in control until you firmly and clearly write down what you want your life to be. If not, you are a passenger in your own life and a wisher.

There is a big difference between wishing and being a dreamer. Dreamers design their ideal life and work to achieve it everyday. They don’t believe in chance or luck. Wishers wait on a genii to grant their three wishes all their lives. The problem is, if the genii were to ever show up they still wouldn’t know what to wish for!

Motivation Empowerment – it’s not up to the government
Contrary to popular Zambian belief, the government is not responsible for all the problems in your life. Most of all, it is not responsible for how your life turns out. I hear so many people requesting government to do something about everything from the flooding in their own back yards to telling them how they should dress!

I cannot blame such people for seeing things that way. It is so typical of human nature to look outside of ourselves when faced with challenges and shortcomings. But, not only is the problem within us, the miracle is that the solution also lies within us.

If you are going to remember anything about this article it should be this: you are in total control of your life. The only person you can truly blame for your failures is you. Cut off those puppet strings and take charge. If you do not exercise that control then you have given it over to someone or something else whether by choice or by default.

Allow me to borrow a military term which states: “there is no blank file.” If a soldier leaves the formation either on parade or in battle someone else comes and takes over that position, it cannot be left blank. So it is with your life. The decisions you do not make are made for you.

It may seem hard to take full responsibility for your life, but ultimately you will find it is the single most empowering decision you will ever make. If you decide not to blame others for your failures and not to look to others for your successes, you will start to achieve great things. You will take back your power over your own life.

Motivation Empowerment – conclusion
Mark Victor Hansen concludes: “You control your future, your destiny. What you think about comes about. By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands: your own.”

You are all you can be. Go on and be it!

Time Management Skill,

“Success is a daily habit”

Time management skill – introduction
What have you done today to move you closer to your dreams? Are you expecting to wake up one morning and suddenly do everything to achieve your dream in just that one day?

Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” Success is a daily habit. It’s the little things you do everyday that will get you to your destination.
Time management skill – cultivate a habit of reading
A friend and motivational speaker, Felix Banda, told me last week how he remembers me reading a book called “how to become a millionaire” when I was at the University of Zambia in my first or second year of studies. That was over 10 years ago.

He pointed out that it may seem to some, that I suddenly got up one day and decided to start writing these articles, but he realized that it started all the way back there. His point was that it has been a process and not a sudden occurrence.

I had actually forgotten about having read that and similar books, but when he mentioned it, I remembered how the literature I read has had such an impact on me and has affected my life in a positive way. Some of the principles I learnt rubbed off on me so well they became a part of my thoughts to such a point that I eventually accepted those thoughts as my own.

It is the habit of reading that has contributed to a change in my thinking. Had I not started reading those books then, I would still be stuck in whatever thought pattern I had. My horizons would still be restricted.

Time management skill – put first things first
Stephen Covey, in his inspiring and life changing book “the 7 habits of highly effective people” asks the question: “what one thing could you do (you are not doing now) that if you did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your personal life?”

It does not have to be a huge thing. Neither does it have to be something that requires a huge investment of time, energy or resources on your part. It just has to be something that you can do consistently.

You will discover that you will eventually be doing more of that one thing than you could have thought possible when you started. Over time, it will make a huge difference. Stephen Covey further adds that “it’s usually not the dramatic, the visible, the once-in-a-lifetime, up-by-the-bootstraps effort that brings enduring success. Empowerment comes from learning how to use this great endowment in the decisions we make everyday.”

He called this habit “putting first things first.” I like that name because often we do not put first things first. We put things which matter most at the mercy of things which matter least.

We subordinate our dreams for our jobs, our bosses, our friends, our parents and a whole lot of other people and activities. We should instead place our hopes and dreams as the most important thing everyday.

Time management skill – the time management matrix
One guide that will help you decide whether something should take up your time or not is the time management matrix. In this matrix, which may be drawn as a quadrant, there are basically four groups of activities. There are those things that are urgent and not important; those that are urgent and important; those that are not urgent and not important and those that are not urgent and important.

Most people spend their time doing things that are neither urgent nor important. One thing that immediately comes to mind is the person that spends every bit of his free time at the bar hanging out with the guys and just having a good time. I would not be very mistaken to say that such a person is not only drinking their income away, but also their dreams.

Television is another not urgent and not important activity which, unfortunately, most of us spend a lot of our most productive time on. It is amazing how television sets in most homes are perpetually on and people are fixed on them like zombies, watching everything that is dished out to them! TVs have invaded our lives and crippled our dreams.

Time management skill – do the important things
What we need to do is concentrate on the things that are most important. The hard part is that these are usually the things that are not urgent. Yet they are things that will make the biggest difference to our lives.

Why not turn off the television set tonight and read an inspiring book? Why not take a quiet moment to sit down and write down what you want to do with the rest of your life? Why not spend some time with your kids rather than with the guys at the bar? Why not take a few minutes to read the Bible today?

Time management skill – it ain’t always fun
As you can see, the important things are usually not the most fun or exciting things to do. However, they must be done. There is a price to be paid for attaining greatness and at times that means doing things we don’t necessarily enjoy or want to do.

But you must do those things because you realize that your future depends on it. Think about this: if you only had to do the things that are fun and exciting at work would you get anything done? No. But you do it anyway, for the sake of that paycheck at the month-end. Why then, won’t you do the things that matter most for your own life?

Time management skill – conclusion
If you have not done anything today to get you closer to your dreams you are not a dreamer, you are a wisher. Wake up and do something about it or watch the dreamers take hold of their dreams, one little step each day.

In the words of Jim Rohn, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habits is what keeps you going,” Develop the habit of putting first things first today. Work on your dreams each and every day.

You are all you can be. Go on and be it!

Motivation and Positive Thinking

“The Misused and the Abused”

Motivation and positive thinking – introduction
Are you guilty of misusing and abusing the single most important asset you will ever have? Are you investing enough time, effort and money into developing this powerful asset?

Or are you, like most people, letting it decay and atrophy due to disuse until it totally becomes useless not only to you but to the rest of humanity?

It is the most important asset you will ever possess. Like most things in life, it is something everyone has, yet few utilize it well. While we all look to the outside to find the secrets to success, wealth and happiness, we neglect and disregard the power within ourselves: our own minds.

Motivation and positive thinking – mind abuse
The mind can be defined as “the human consciousness that originates in the brain and is manifested especially in thought, perception, emotion, will, memory and imagination.”

If you need a simpler and more practical definition, it is “the faculty of thinking, reasoning, and applying knowledge.” Why, then, is it the most abused and misused asset man possesses?

One of the most enlightening and inspiring books I have ever read is “As a man thinketh” by James Allen. In this book he compares the mind to a garden. He says: “A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must and will bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed-seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.”

Whatever is planted in that garden is what will be reaped. Just as you cannot plant corn and reap oranges, so you cannot plant destructive thoughts and reap a happy and successful life.

If you plant positive thoughts you will reap positive results. Plant negative thoughts and you will reap negative results. Neglect to plant anything at all and the weeds will inevitably take over.

The law of attarction is a powerful principle that you need to understand and utilise to improve your health and wealth.

Motivation and positive thinking – it’s all in your control
There is a reason why a lot of people don’t believe in positive thinking and that kind of thing. It is simply that they do not want to face the fact that their lives are totally in their own hands and they are afraid of the immense potential/results if they do so. Believing in positive thinking would mean that they cannot blame their lack of education, their parents, teacher or spouse for their failures.

It is much easier to think there is some force out there called “destiny” that is just against you and takes pleasure in seeing you suffer. If only this didn’t happen or that had happened, you would be so much better off.

Motivation and positive thinking – choose your response
I am not saying that bad things don’t happen in life. Sometimes they do happen. However, your response to what happens to you, whether good or bad, is your choice. To quote James Allen once more: “Man is the master of thought, the moulder of character, and the maker and shaper of condition, environment and destiny.”

Motivation and positive thinking – feed your mind right
Your mind will work just as hard to make you fail as it will to make you succeed. It does not discriminate between good seed and bad seed. That should be great news. The amount of effort it takes to fail is the same amount of effort it takes to succeed as far as the mind is concerned. It is your responsibility to provide it with the right seeds of thought.

How do you change your negative thoughts into positive thoughts? It has taken years, if not decades for you to develop the negative thought patterns you may have. So it would be absolutely impractical to expect to change these thought patterns overnight.

Like the gardener who takes tender care of his garden, slowly weeding out the unwanted plants and giving care and nurturing to the desired plants, you must get rid of the negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.

You cannot simply decide that you will stop thinking negatively. The mind cannot be a vacuum. Something has to be there. It should be a process of replacement of the negative with the positive.

Motivation and positive thinking – recognize negative thoughts
The first step, then, is to be able to recognize the negative thoughts. Any thinking that emphasizes lack, failure, sickness and so on is negative. If you do not want it, don’t think it.

To give a practical example, have you ever seen someone driving a very expensive car and thought to yourself that you would never be able to own such a car? Replace it with the thought that it is totally possible for you to own that car.

Go out to the car dealer and check it out. Touch it. Feel it. If you can, get inside it. Do everything you can to bring it within reach of your mind. You will be amazed at the power such simple exercises can have.

Motivation and positive thinking – the power of association
By far the best way to change your mind set is to associate with other great minds. The saying “show me your friends and I will show you your future” is right on the spot! The company you keep says a lot about who you are and how you think.

If you do not have company worth keeping do not lose heart. This is, after all, the information age. Through books, music, movies and the internet you can have access to the greatest minds that ever lived. Reading in particular has great potential to break the chains on your mind and expand it to greater dimensions.

Take every opportunity you have to read inspiring, uplifting and motivational books that will slowly but surely help you to create a beautiful garden in your mind and weed out the suffocating thoughts that so easily control our lives.

Guard your mind jealously. Would you leave your now newly acquired car unlocked and without any form of protection in Cairo Road? Then why would you leave the greatest asset you possess, your mind, without defense?

Stay away from any form of negativity. This includes “good” friends that are a danger to your thinking. You don’t have to read everything in the paper about murder, death and suffering! Don’t join the pity party about how “the economy is tough and you are just barely managing.” Stay positive in all circumstances.

Motivation and positive thinking – conclusion
Mahatma Gandhi is a man that is greatly admired and who left an indelible footprint on this earth. Could it be because he realized the power that he possessed in his mind when he said: “You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.”

You are all you can be. Go on and be it.

A Little Black Pen

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