Wow. This single statement seemed so indicative of the life I'd led up until the moment I first came upon it, around ten years ago. And as I digested these words for the first time, I felt a tingling shudder of realisation at the truth they embodied -together with a fresh sense of hope- as the cutting profundity of this “message for life” carved it's indelible mark deep into my heart.
We all know that life can change in an instant. And for me, this statement represented that instant. The Taoist proverb states, “When the student is ready, the master appears”. Well my “master” came in the form of the man whom I first heard quote these words in his second book “Awaken the Giant Within”. This man is -in my opinion- a modern-day genius and true “light-bearer” for humanity. His name is Anthony Robbins.
But the intention of this piece of writing is not merely to laud this great man's work. I have never subscribed to the worship of “idols”, false or otherwise, but I do strongly believe in the pursuit of knowledge gleaned from the proven strategies of those with an unprecedented track record for success – whatever the endeavour might be.
His particular expertise is in helping others achieve “personal excellence”. I.e. applying very specific protocol which expedite improvement in each less-than-perfect area of a person's life. He effectively “installs” in his clients' minds, cutting edge strategies for effecting change in these difficult areas. In so doing, he lifts them to the very highest peaks of excellence in their chosen endeavours. Business, health, fitness, relationships, financial, emotional and so on.
And so, thanks to these insights, I have taken it upon myself ever since to actively seek out similar individuals -“agents of change”. Those with the proven tools to most effectively move me towards my aspirations.
I was so impressed to learn how Anthony Robbins, and others like him have inspired in millions globally the power of positive change. He achieves this by equipping those he helps with the internal, psychological and emotional resources that lead to the re-claiming of control of every “failing” aspect of their lives. His cutting edge understanding of human psychology, in particular “Neuro-linguistic-programming” has brought about the transformation of literally countless numbers from rags to riches, from overwhelming adversity to triumph, and from darkest depression to highest joy. This is testified by the countless thousands who “apply” his knowledge.
Some say knowledge equals power. But the pursuit of knowledge alone does not lead to power. True knowledge –wisdom– comes only through the very definite application of learned knowledge.
“To know, but not to do, is not to know”. We all instinctively know what to do, but very few of us do what we know. To achieve something we must first “be” that thing.
I recall listening to one of Anthony Robbin's audio programmes in which he stated most emphatically “the quality of our communication is the quality of our lives”. I'll never forget hearing this statement. I even recall the train journey I was making as I read it! He qualified this sentiment by asserting unequivocally that the most important aspect of a person's communication is his/her “self-communication”. He explained that the quality of our
minute-by-minute inner dialogue quite literally becomes the positive or negative narrative to our lives, and the very force which foretells either our success or failure. The voice inside our head -the one which appears impossible to ever switch off- is the very determining factor in whether we live out passive lives of incessantly looping emotional pain, doubt, limitation and self-sabotage, or whether we create for ourselves lives of fulfilment, expansion and abundance. In other words - “Whether you think you can or think you cannot, you are right” to quote Henry Ford (Founder of Ford Motors). Or “Man is what he thinks about all day long” Ralph Waldo Emerson. “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make our world” Buddha. The scriptures have been saying the same for millenia: “As a man thinketh, so shall he be”.
These insights abruptly shook my world view, opening my mind to the paradigm wherein we are each, quite literally the authors and artists of our own destiny.
I received a sobering jolt at the realisation that our minute-by-minute habits of thought- communicated via our inner voice- become either the poorest of masters or the most faithful of servants. Was I willing to accept the reality that we literally -and often unwittingly- talk ourselves into or out of the life experiences we desire?
I began de-constructing the internal story of my own life, and in so doing, was forced to accept that throughout my twenties I had been all-too-often “negatively” programming the very fabric of my subconscious reality. The dis-empowering aspects of the life-story I had been “telling myself”- the story of how things were going badly for me- were in every way becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.
My internal, subconscious habits of thought were fast becoming the predictors of a gloomy destiny and were attracting into my life the very things I did NOT want, as opposed to the things I truly longed for.
Modern psychology informs us that our habits are merely the product of the same thoughts repeated day in day out, until those thought patterns become “physiologically hard-wired” in the structures of our brain matter. This results from the corresponding release of neuro-chemicals which are attached to each thought. Chemicals we literally become addicted to. After certain periods of time caught in these habitual, self-defeating patterns of thought, we literally shut off neural pathways in our brain, thereby shutting off our own capacity to replace these negative beliefs with fresh, new empowering perspectives. If not actively over-ridden, our over-used, dis-empowering inner-moans run the very real danger of becoming the sorry “sound-track” to the rest of our sorry lives. We all know people whose lives are literally a series of moans and painfully looping negativity. “Energy Vampires”...You know the type!
When we are faced with adverse circumstances, we are ultimately faced with two choices:
Either to accept those circumstances or to accept responsibility for changing them.
Beside my passion for life as a full-time artist, I am profoundly interested in and committed to the concept and the practise of implementing on-going positive change in as many areas of my life as possible.
And so, when I sympathetically listen to the painful moans and struggles of friends who seem to have fallen into the all-too-common traps of human thinking, I often make gentle alternative suggestions, rather than see them approach the same problems in the same ways, from within rigidly-cast parameters which lead back to self-defeat.
“You cannot solve a problem with the same consciousness that created it.” Albert Einstein.
The suggestions I offer those I see struggle are based upon the modalities for effecting positive change which millions globally have applied to phenomenal and lasting effect.
Yet it never ceases to amaze me how abruptly even the idea of positive change can be rejected. In fact it seems to me that us human beings would rather run a million miles than to consider viewing things in more positive terms. In terms of taking personal responsibility for changing our “broken record”, for bringing an end to the futile moans and discarding the out-dated life habits which no longer serve us and lead us only to more of the things we do not desire. Responsibility for replacing habits which undermine our own best efforts and intentions, with positive, alternative approaches which carry us towards our desired outcome, and not away from it, back to “square one”.
But all too often it seems that our default setting is one which prefers to bemoan our situation, whilst doing nothing to change it, and at the same time hoping for things to improve! Sound like madness?!
Again, in the words of Albert Einstein “Doing the same things over and over again whilst expecting a different result is the very definition of madness”.
So, why exactly, do we so commonly respond to change with resistance, reverting time and again to acts of self-sabotage? My belief, in concluding, is that we “hypnotise” ourselves, quite literally, through the medium of our own inner voice into determining the very outcome of our lives. The methodology for inducing “stage hypnosis” is exactly the same. In our case, we act unwittingly, both in the capacity of the hypnotist and “hypnotisee!”
So let's please try to take a different approach to the same old “problems” in our lives! Otherwise we engage in acts which are tantamount to re-arranging the furniture on the Titanic as it sinks!
“If you always do what you've always done,
you'll always get what you've always gotten!”
I truly hope this sentiment has the same positive effect on you as it has had on me.
If you catch yourself be-moaning your lot, remember – you've just aroused that nasty little inner voice. You've set into motion that unseen, swinging pendulum and given life to a devious act of self-hypnosis.
Change was never meant to be easy. Lasting, positive change is harder still. But be sure that if no obstacles lie along your path, then the path most likely leads no-where.
We do not build muscle by going to the gym once. We require multiple, on-going efforts, compounded over time for lasting change to be seen. The same is true of changing our minds, changing our inner dialogue and raising the “positivity factor” in our lives.
We must develop our determination, our discipline and faith until the tipping point is reached.
One fine day in the not-so-distant future, you'll catch yourself as you view your newly-improved life from it's greatly empowered vantage point. The shadow of the former you will long since have faded, and that wretched little inner-demon will have lost it's voice!
So let's decide now to establish a new relationship with ourselves. Let's commit to affirming a new life narrative. One which supports and encourages our best intentions, until one day, this “faithful, new friend” states triumphantly and entirely of his own accord
“I can and I will!”
Alongside the millions who give testimony to this revolutionary way of life, I too have experienced it's gifts in my own life. It quite literally holds the power to revolutionise the totality of our lives, our relationships, our health, our happiness, our bodies, our finances -and therefore, surely- our time together on this beautiful planet.
Lovely people, I urge you!..... “AWAKEN THE GIANT WITHIN”. Change your inner voice and change your outer world. Sound impossible?
Then you're listening to the wrong voice!