False Choices

It’s 3:00 AM. You’ve just awakened with a start. Your heart is racing – not pounding, just a generally anxious sort of feeling. You aren’t sure why this is happening. There’s no sound of an intruder and everything externally seems to be in order. Then you lay there struggling to return to your slumber. You know you have to get up in two or three hours, and you know you desperately need to finish getting your rest. But there’s one BIG problem. Your mind won’t let you.

I’ve never figured out exactly what causes this. There’s obviously something churning around in our subconscious. And it’s frustrating beyond belief to wake up this way, not know why, and then try to drift back to the Land of Nod. And I can attest to what happens next. I will allow my mind to conjure up False Choices. Perhaps I’ve been in the middle of a complicated real estate deal that has a lot of “hair” on it – that is, many moving parts that aren’t all moving as planned. At this point the game begins. Here’s the dialogue that occurs.

What if the appraisal for the apartment complex comes back at slightly less than is needed? Then the loan amount will be less and the equity requirement will be more. But wait a minute – I only have an equity commitment for the exact requirement and I don’t have time to raise the extra amount that will be needed! Oh my (or some other less printable phrase) – we won’t be able to close this deal!! If this happens we’ll lose the earnest money that is now totally at-risk; we’ll lose all of our credibility within the industry; we’ll never be able to do another deal again; I’ll go broke and have to live under a bridge!!!!!!

OK, the bridge part may be a little dramatic, but you get the idea. The point is that in this state of semi-consciousness it’s very easy for our mind to magnify our concerns and create wild scenarios that are disconcerting. Often, logic is totally absent in these moments, and because of this the False Choices become overwhelming. Fortunately I’ve gotten to the point where I rarely experience this anymore. But I can tell you that in years past I’ve gotten so worked up that I had to get out of bed and become totally awake to bring my full faculties to bear and find the solution. Kind of blows the opportunity to get any more sleep completely out of the water . . . right?

Rather than trying to figure out what triggers this kind of response, I’ve learned how to avoid letting my mind run away in this manner. If I do wake up with that general feeling of unease or even if something specific looms in my mind’s-eye, I immediately deny it. That’s it. I refuse to allow the monsters in my brain to come to the surface and get any satisfaction whatsoever. It’s my belief that we are extremely vulnerable when we are half-awake and half-asleep, and trying to resolve any sort of issue is futile and dangerous. If we let down our guard, invariably we end up in False Choices.

Learning how to deny these thoughts will not be easy at first. It will take a lot of practice. What I do is quickly translate the issue that is bubbling up into a visual image – perhaps it’s a dragon from a fantasy world. Then I take out my might dragon slaying sword and thrust it deeply into the dragon’s chest at which point it melts away and I fall asleep again. Thus, I’ve taken the horrible problem that somehow has invaded my sleep; turned it into a dragon; killed it instantly, and gone back to sawing logs. While this might sound corny, I can tell you that with practice it works. It doesn’t matter what the outer issue is, I simply turn it into a dragon and eliminate it.

We must avoid the False Choices that may be presented while we sleep. Denying them before they have a chance to take hold of our minds will allow us to deal with them in a rational fashion when we are awake.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

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Unregrettable

There’s no Question and Answer this week. Because what I want to write about is of a most serious nature. The husband of my oldest friend in the whole world was diagnosed with late-stage brain cancer just a short time ago. Of course he fought hard but today we mourn his passing and celebrate his life. And it brings into focus a much bigger point that must be made. How exactly are we living our lives? What are putting off until tomorrow? In my book, An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By, the entire first chapter is about living today like we’re going to die tomorrow. In honor of my friend and her husband, please allow me to excerpt a few thoughts on this subject from my book.

A goldfish will only grow as large as the container in which it lives.  Humans are no different. Living today like you’re going to die tomorrow is all about capacity. By definition capacity is the ability to receive or contain. Most people will tell you to live life to your full capacity – regardless of its size. Truly amazing success comes not when you fulfill your capacity but expand and surpass it.  You have to get a bigger fishbowl.  But how?

1.    Create a sense of urgency in your work life and in your personal life. Become much more adept at planning and time management. In turn you will become more proficient at prioritizing. Remember that you are doing this not just to live to your capacity for life, but to expand your capacity for life and then live to it.

2.    Learn how to live in the moment. The past is good for pleasant memories and as a learning tool. The future may never come. Tend to your priorities. If attending your son’s little league baseball game is a priority, then by all means, be there. If participating in a brainstorm session with your work colleagues is a priority, focus on doing your part in the brainstorm.

3.    Don’t worry. Think about and find solutions for what you can control and ignore the rest.

4.    Eliminate the propensity for procrastination by making certain that you clearly understand your goals and objectives. Then identify and prioritize the tasks that must be completed to achieve your goal. This makes it hard to put off doing what needs to be done.

5.    Become aware of unnecessary actions and wasted motion in your life. Then look for ways to replace them with greater productivity which is another way to expand your capacity for life.

6.    Understand that quality downtime is critical to being able to live in a healthy and productive manner. You are no good to yourself or the people who depend upon you if you burn out.

7.    Make an inventory of what your family and business associates would need in the event that you die. Then, take the steps to put your affairs in order. This will give you the peace of mind to live each moment to the fullest.

The question I ask myself at the end of every day before I go to sleep is, “Do I have any regrets?” I am so blessed because I can honestly answer this question with “No.” I believe that my friend and her husband would also answer it the same way. Can you?

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

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A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Question: I can’t seem to get ahead financially. I save a little bit and the next thing I know something unexpected drains the bank account. This is really discouraging.

Answer: How many books and articles have been written about the subject of prosperity? The subject has been extensively dissected and there’s no doubt you will find some great techniques that may help you with your personal financial affairs. But that’s not what I want to explore with you.

I’d like to offer a concept called Intentional Abundance. I strongly believe that prosperity is a state of mind. It’s not externally generated and we’re not at the mercy of others when it comes to realizing our prosperity. When combined with various prosperity techniques, Intentional Abundance creates the mindset that is necessary to bring to bear the results that we seek. So what exactly is Intentional Abundance? Simply put, it means that we absolutely positively know with every fiber of our being that prosperity will be ours! Even when it may seem that abundance is a fleeting concept, if we remain steadfast with our belief that prosperity is ours to claim, it will ultimately be the truth.

Part of Intentional Abundance is the realization that prosperity is totally within our control. When we think, “Oh my, I don’t have enough money to pay the electric bill right now,” we’re affirming lack and limitation. Our minds are so powerful that this sort of affirmation can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, we must know that there’s no doubt about it that somehow we’ll find a way to pay the electric bill. I’ve been living my life this way for years. And here’s what’s so amazing. By having no worries or doubts, my prosperity flows from so many sources and at greater levels that one might call it Unexpected Abundance. Except that it’s not. In fact it’s Intentional Abundance.

We can all live a life of Intentional Abundance if we choose to. This mindset requires us to train our minds not to accept thoughts of lack, limitation, doubt and worry. Every time we feel such thoughts creeping into our consciousness, we must release them and replace them with positive thoughts of prosperity and abundance. Eventually the negative thoughts will no longer exist.

Intentional Abundance is a mindset of eager expectation. When we fully embrace it our financial needs will always be met above and beyond our wildest dreams.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

Prosperity