Have you ever heard someone say, I could do it if I could just set my mind to it. Have you ever uttered these words, even just to yourself?
You can you know. And me too. I really can achieve what I set my mind to. This belief has pulled me out many times from difficult situations, and for anyone discovering this feeling, you cannot describe the power inside. No bragging, just quiet confidence.
Have you heard about the story of mothers pulling great weights off their sons or daughters in order to save their lives. And then find out that the weight they lifted was virtually impossible! Tell that to a mother who is trying to save her children. There is no impossible in her mind. There is no other acceptable alternative other than total and complete success.
You can use this principle! We will move heaven and earth when we feel it is important to do so. You really can get anything you want in life if you set your mind to it. The timing and strategy may change, but the result is in the bank, ‘if you set your mind to it.’
OK. You have my curiosity stoked, you say. Now you ask, how do you set your mind to it? Ahhhh. There’s the rub. The question of the ages rears it ugly head once again.
I have written a success story of mine below. I am not proud of where I was, I am proud of how I handled it and came back.
1987 – This period of my life was both the worst time of my life and the best time of my life. Anyone hitting rock bottom can relate.
That year 1987, my life was in the “crapper”. I was in a downward spiral, and couldn’t seem to stop myself from ruining not only my life but my family’s too. I was drifting away from the very people who were most important to me.
It’s funny that even when you know that you are screwing up, you sometimes can’t seem to make change. That’s when you sometimes get lucky. At least I was.
I was drinking heavily, an alcoholic by definition, not by belief. I was up late drinking myself into a stupor and fell asleep with a lit cigarette in the ash tray. When I woke up the next morning, the cigarette had burned down, fell out of the ash tray onto the coffee table and burned a thin streak into the wood.
Now you would think that this would shake anybody up, but, this wasn’t the catalyst! No.
When our little girl Sheri came down this particular morning, she remarked, horrified, that I could have burned the house down! I could have died just from the look on her face. Well, I would move mountains for my family so it was enough of a picture that I gave up smoking right then and there. March 5, 1987 My focus was laser concentrated, quitting smoking was the most important thing to do in my life at this time.
If you notice, I never said that I gave up drinking there. No. Not enough leverage for that one yet.
Later that year we were at a friend’s wedding, and I still was drinking heavily. Probably more heavily if that could be possible. It’s a wonder that I didn’t get alcohol poisoning, I had no problem downing whole cases of beer, and requesting more. (24 packs in Ontario, where we were living at the time.)
When we came home that night, my wife and I got into an argument, and after verbally abusing her, the argument elevated. I HIT HER.
I struck my wife, a little more than 115-120 lbs soaking wet! What a big man I was. The argument continued for another few minutes, but she picked up the kids and left the house for her mothers.
At that instant, I realized even through my drunkenness that I had crossed the line.
When the next morning came, and I had sobered up a little, I could have cut my right arm off. In my life, I had swore that I would never become one who would beat on their wife. And I had hit her physically.
I have never had another alcoholic drink since that time. July 18, 1987. Quit cold turkey, with leverage that few people get to feel. Thank God for that. And of course I never hit her again. She is absolutely the most important person in my life, and I try to demonstrate that daily.
Change took on a whole new importance to me. I had tremendous leverage on myself. I had crossed a line in my mind, a threshold, that gave me absolute power over my actions. That is where we have to be when we expect change to last.
The results? That year, I quit smoking in the spring, and I quit drinking that summer. I started jogging at this same time and started out going around a little park behind our house, probably a 5 minute run but took me 11 minutes, pumping and puffing. During the next 3 months I worked up to 5 miles a day, and dropped weight from 245 to 185. My focus was concentrated solely on the fact that I knew I was better than this and I must change my life now. For myself and for my family.
I felt tremendous urgency. I felt better then than at any other time in my life. My mind was clear on the objective. Sure there were distractions, but my purpose was enough to get me through and manage them.
In 1988, I led my team at work to a company wide contest win, great recognition for me. And I took my wife Anne on her dream trip, a trip for 2 weeks to Hawaii. We took everything in we could, and took 33 rolls of film to sit together and look at later.
I journalled my thoughts and feelings at that time, but alas, I did not journal in a hard bound book, just a three ring binder. The pages tossed away sometime ago. Therefore, I have only my memory to serve me. (Journalling regularly is a great way to measure how much one has grown. I recommend it heartily.)
What really pulled me out was the realization that, not only was I completely fouling up my life and my family’s, but that I was not creating anything for them or myself. I was not being who I was supposed to me. My idea of who I am, was completely in direct contradiction to what I was acting out.
Now. Back to the Present.
So, how do you set your mind to it? How do you make what you want, the most important thing in your life for the time period needed to achieve?
How do you give it importance over those things you most value already?
Connect them up. Use what is already important in your life and connect it to what you want to have, with stronger, more powerful reasons associating the fact that one gets stronger and more potent with the other.
How do you take something you have doing for years and stop ‘cold turkey’, and turn it around to give you terrific momentum for the positive?
How do you take something that you have been trying to do for years, and failing, and turn it around so that you are successful at it immediately?
You must make it the most important thing to do in your life for the time period necessary to ingrain it into your life. And you must make it a MUST! Just like in the story of the mother saving her child. There is no other acceptable alternative other than total and complete success.
Connect it to something you feel is already critically important and merge them. Make one depend on the other and you will be pulled to success. Look forward to your new future!
My guess is that at some time in your life you have ‘set your mind’ to something and cruised to victory. This is the feeling you want to remember and practice.
Think back, pull the memories of successful changes you have already made and you will have your own personal strategy that you know works for you. You just have to consciously remember and practice it.
There are many ways to change. You probably already know these but are you using them? I have found them absolutely critical to habit development and change. The degree of success you have will be directly proportionate to the degree you apply these principles.
They create a ‘pull’ instead of you having to ‘push’. Logical reasons will help, but emotional reasons have the most power. Here are 5 strategies that I feel are critical.
1. Decision to Commit – Pure resolve that I am doing it. No matter what, whatever it takes. There is no option acceptable other than to do it.
2. Great Reasons that move me to ACTION! Strong Empowering Emotional Reasons WHY I must do this.
3. Connection to what’s already important. Anchoring positive thoughts over negative to control focus. Look forward to your new future.
4. Associating with people who have done it or are doing it. Immerse myself.
5. Change My Identity, to a Self Image that is consistent with what I want.
I use these strategies in conjunction with each other. It does however depend on the habit you want to create or replace.
More later at another time, this will give you a great place to start. Go for it!
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