Saturday, 31 December 2011



Everything can be taken from a person but one thing: the last of human freedoms is to choose one's attitudes in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. Attitude is a choice. You could be faced with a thousand problems, many or most over which you have absolutely no control. However, there is always one thing you are in complete and absolute control of and that is your own attitude.

When you surrender control of your attitude to what appears to be a negative situation, you will react to that situation. More often than not, reacting is inappropriate. On the other hand, if you were to remain objective, you would respond to the situation appropriately, thereby creating a winning situation.

If attitude is such an important word, why do so few people understand it? To be honest, it wasn't until I was in my late 70s when I finally understood its full impact. All through my teens and into my early adult life, I can't tell you the number of times that I heard, "if you'd just change your attitude, you would do a lot better." In retrospect I can easily see the cause of my problem. I didn't know what attitude was, let alone know how to change it!

Attitude is the composite of your thoughts, feelings and actions. Your conscious mind controls feeling and ultimately dictates whether your feelings will be positive or negative by your choice of thoughts, then your body displays those choices through action and behaviour.

Attitude is actually a creative cycle that begins with your choice of thoughts. You do choose your thoughts and that choice is where your attitude originates. As you internalize ideas or become emotionally involved with your thoughts, you create the second stage in forming an attitude; you move your entire being; mind and body into a new "vibration." Your conscious awareness of this vibration is referred to as "feeling". Your feelings are then expressed in actions or behaviours that produce the various results in your life. Positive results are always the effect of a positive attitude. 

Attitude and results are inseparable. They follow one another like night follows day. What I mean by that is: one is the cause, the other, the result. There is a term we use to distinguish this "cause and effect" relationship, it is called The Law of Cause and Effect. Simply stated, if you think in negative terms, you will get negative results; if you think in positive terms you will achieve positive results. A person is what they think about all day long. The results you achieve in life are nothing more than an expression of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Take a close look at your life and evaluate the results you are achieving in various areas. See if you are able to relate your attitude to your results.

Winning and losing are opposite sides of the same coin and that coin is attitude. There are many things wrong in this world; unfortunately that is all some people are able to see. Those who view the world in this light are often unhappy and somewhat cynical. Usually, their life is one of lack and limitation and it almost appears as if they move from one bad experience to another. I know people who are like this and I'm certain you do as well. It would appear as if they were born with a streak of bad luck and it has followed them around their whole life. These individuals are quick to blame circumstances or other people for their problems, rather than accepting responsibility for their life and their attitude.

Conversely, there are others who are forever winning and living the good life. They are the real movers and shakers who make things happen. They seem to go from one major accomplishment to another. They're in control of their life; they know where they are going and know they will get there. They are the real winners in life and their wins are a matter of choice.

You can experience that kind of life as well, you only need to decide. Making that simple decision is the first step to a new life. Act as if it were impossible to fail, and I challenge you to do so. By simply becoming aware that you can choose your thoughts each and every day, you will change your entire outlook. You have the power to choose an abundant life no matter your circumstances. That active choice will allow other positive people and opportunities to be attracted into your life.  

Don't wait to experience all the wonderful things the universe has in store for you. Start today by working on your attitude and welcome the abundant life that you were meant to lead. For some people it can seem as if their mind has a life of its own. Despite their best efforts, they find it difficult, or even impossible, to make lasting change in their feelings and emotions. The following ideas, tools, and techniques can help you gain mastery of your mind once and for all—in a way that's easy, powerful, and fun. Can You Really Do It?

I have been passionate about MCS (Mind Control System) since stumbling into my first workshop. At the time I was very quiet, shy, withdrawn. I was also terrified of public speaking or even having an opinion. I simply thought that was my "lot in life," my innate personality, and there was nothing I could really do to change it.

What follows are some of the exercises and coaching questions that literally transformed my life forever in the space of a few short weeks. They can transform your life, too. We will explore:

These easy questions to help you gain mastery of your mind

How to make changes stick by identifying what potentially blocks your ability to make the changes you desire. The secrets of eliminating self-sabotage forever. How to change negative emotions and break old patterns and habits. Ways to transform your mindset for a more rewarding life, simple but effective tools and resources you can put into practice straight away to start changing and transforming your mindset, emotions, and life. 

How to Gain Mastery of Your Mind 

These key questions can get your transformation off to a powerful start: What specifically do you want?

Take some time to really sit with this question. Many people spend a lot of time focusing on what they don't want, rather than putting their attention and energy on what they do want.

Let's use the example of public speaking. When asked, "What do you want?" you may find yourself replying, "I don't want to be nervous. I don't want to have palpitations. I don't want sweaty palms. I don't want to feel like a rabbit in the headlights and be frozen with fear. I don't want to completely forget what I am going to say. I don't want to feel nauseous or sick."

All of these statements firmly put the focus on what you don't want, which means neurologically you start to create the very thoughts and feelings you are seeking to avoid. What stops you from achieving what you want?

If what stops you comes down to beliefs, negative emotions, past experiences, or previous failures, it is important to get to the root of the issue so you can eliminate the cause once and for all.

Listen for tell-tale signs in responses such as "I can't…," "I'm not capable…," and "It will never…"

How will you know when you have achieved the changes or goal you desire?

Answering this question will automatically start to take your mind into the future and help you create the steps and actions necessary to achieve your goal.

Make Changes That Stick

To get started, focus on these four key aspects: See beyond the issue and identify your big "why." Why do you want to make changes or achieve your goal?

Identify your "values" and, ultimately, what is important to you. Ask yourself: "What is important to me about x?" Keep answering that question until you hit a void, where you run out of thoughts or things to say. Then ask: "What else is important to me about x?" Keep going beyond two or three voids. 

If your changes are not linked to your values, it can be difficult to sustain them over time or as you go through the learning curve. Ensure your "beliefs" are in alignment with the changes you now want to make. Put a "support system" in place, and build in some accountability. Accountability is a close relation to action. A support system will ensure your good intentions translate into action and ultimately results.

How to Eliminate Self-Sabotage

Rather than becoming upset or frustrated if things do not go according to plan, view it as a form of feedback. Sabotage usually infers there is some kind of internal conflict, the side effect of which causes you to get in your own way and sabotage your efforts. People sometimes describe the conflict in terms of "parts." Part of you wants to do X while the other part wants to do Y, thus causing an internal tug of war.

One of the secrets of eliminating self-sabotage is to discover the underlying intention of both sides or parts because this will help uncover what drives the internal saboteur. What you are listening for as you explore the opposing parts is called the "positive intention." Take the example of smoking, eating, or drinking too much.

Typical answers when uncovering the positive intention may include: "It helps me to relax/unwind/feel good/get attention/have an excuse to indulge myself." The potential underlying positive intention may be the desire to be happy, relax, feel comforted, or have peace of mind. If you simply try to remove the disruptive behaviour, the mind may rebel because you are also removing a necessary and vital function, which is the ability to unwind or relax, etc. The part of your mind responsible for attaining what you want will often use the path of least resistance and go for immediate gratification, rather than thinking through the longer-term consequences.

To change this pattern the question becomes: "What else can you do to unwind and relax without overeating/smoking/drinking too much?" Come up with ecological ideas that serve the same purpose but can be done in a healthier way.

Change Negative Emotions 

Essentially emotions just "are." Each emotion has its function, and there will be times where emotions such as fear, anger, sadness, or guilt are appropriate. Problems arise when an emotion has outlived its purpose yet still remains in place. In MCS we refer to this as being in a stuck or unresourceful state.

Perceptual Positions Exercise

A great way to take a step back and change the feelings or the emotions in the moment and to stop the sense of being on autopilot is to literally step out of yourself to gain a new perspective. Next time a sabotaging behaviour or negative emotion creeps up on you: Stop… breathe… then imagine floating above so you are looking down on yourself. Imagine you can see the whole situation from a bird's-eye view. Ask: What else can I do in this moment? What additional choices do I have? From this vantage point, what ideas or solutions come to mind?

To take it a step further, imagine seeing yourself and the situation from someone else's perspective or point of view (we call this "second position") and ask: What do they suggest as they look at me and my situation? How does it look, feel, or seem from their point of view? What would an objective third party suggest or think if watching you and observing the whole situation?

Just sit with this for a few moments and see what comes to mind. From the bird's-eye view and second position perspective, you will almost magically come up with ideas other than your own! Also, being above (or "Meta" to) the situation and your feelings automatically dissociates you from the feelings so you can think more clearly and strategize. This technique is great for business meetings or situations where is it not possible to physically leave the situation in order to think or compose yourself.

Breaking Old Patterns and Habits

Here are some very simple yet powerful ways to break old patterns that you can put into practice immediately.

Ask: "What did I learn?" Understanding what there is to learn means you can start to move on from old habits.
Ask: "What will I do differently next time to get a different or better outcome or result?"

This allows you to start unconsciously building new strategies and encourages the formation of alternative solutions or ideas. When you feel or notice old patterns coming on, create a break state or "pattern interrupt." Change your physiology, move, shake it out, breathe, or sit/stand up straight, and change your internal focus to better align with what you want to feel.

Understand Your Strategies and Convincers

To better understand your habits and patterns, identify what is called a "convincer" strategy. For example, I have a "three times convincer." Generally speaking, when I learn something new, I will run through it three times before I neurologically "get it." Before I discovered this, I was convinced there was no point in continuing something if it did not work after the first or second try. Some people have a convincer related to a period of time. Recall learning how to use a new gadget. If you have an instant convincer strategy, you learn it once and you get it. On the other hand, it may take you a longer period of time. If so, set milestone goals so you can see you are making progress along the way. To make personal change and transformation easier, understand and work with your innate strategies initially. Then, if you realize the strategy is not working for you, set about changing it.

Strategy Elicitation

To identify what leads to a particular habit or behaviour, it is important to identify the underlying sequence of events or strategy. Here's how: Think of a habit you would like to break. Identify a specific time it occurred, and notice the first thing you did. What happened next? Then what happened after that?

Keep going until you have identified the full chain of events. For example, when first deciding to have a cigarette, you might look at the clock and determine it is time for a cigarette. You then imagine how satisfying it will feel in that moment. You might think about the pros and cons of smoking and then hear yourself say, "Well, just a quick one won't hurt, because I've been smoking less this week." You then get up and have a cigarette.

Going through this process will help you elicit your strategy or the internal sequence of events leading you to a certain outcome, in this case, having a cigarette. Once you have identified a strategy that no longer works, you can change it. As soon as you notice the strategy starting to run, say something silly to yourself (perhaps in a Mickey Mouse or cartoon voice): "Bunkles, balloons, and cat in the hat, what are you doing?" Going through this process a few times gives you the opportunity to consciously assess what you are about to do and instead make a different choice.

Transforming Your Mindset

Everything shared so far the questions, contemplations, games, and exercises can subtly, but powerfully, start to change and transform your mindset. Here are a few more things you can do to kick negative thoughts out of your life forever. Change the Equation: Rather than looking at what is wrong, move your thoughts to what is going right and what you actually want to achieve. This subtle internal shift will future pace your thinking and move you into solution focus mode. Get from Effect to Cause: Move away from dwelling on whose fault something is or how unfair things are. Identify instead what you can do to take some control and start making changes.

Change the Context: Widen your perspective or frame of reference and ask, "What else could this mean?" When you change the context, it will shift your internal response. For example, rain is neither good nor bad, it just is. You will see it as good if you love your garden and there has been a dry spell, but you will see it as bad if you are on your way to a garden party or BBQ.

Exercise: Take a challenging situation or problem and transform your thinking. Ask: How else can I think about or see this situation? What else could it mean?

Get What You Need to Learn: Notice where things did not go as planned, and consider what you could do differently should a similar situation arise in the future. Also, identify where things did go well to help build your success strategy for the future.

Change Your Inner Dialogue: Just for a day, change your inner dialogue from "I can't" to "I can" and from "I will" to "I am." Many people reinforce old habits with their internal self-chatter and unsupportive thinking. As you become more aware of your thoughts, you can consciously change them. Very soon it will become automatic, and your mind will autocorrect itself.

Room for Growth: Move from black and white/all-or-nothing thinking to creating a kaleidoscope of colour. Give yourself time and scope for new behaviours to develop, and allow the space for the changes to become established.

Re-evaluate Your Beliefs: 

Beliefs can potentially change the world. Before May 6, 1954, the world did not believe it possible for a human being to run a 4-minute mile. It was considered an unbreakable barrier, an invisible force, the confines of which kept people from even considering the possibility. Then on May 6, 1954, Roger Banister ran a mile in four minutes. Within a couple of weeks of the achievement, the seemingly impossible record was broken again and again. This newly created belief allowed others to both meet and surpass their previous limitations.

Exercise: Identify someone who has achieved what you want to do. You may know them personally, or it may be you simply model them from afar. Knowing it is possible can dramatically change and transform your thinking and beliefs. Celebrate Your Successes: Reinforce and celebrate the behaviours and habits you do want. Every time you make progress, give yourself a metaphorical pat on the back. Congratulate your inner mind and it will do more of the same for you. Before you know it, you will be living your new habits with ease. Taking the time to congratulate yourself and acknowledge even small improvements and changes in your behaviour encourages what I call the snowball effect. Each small change and step builds momentum, and before you know it, changes are happening faster and more naturally than you could have possibly imagined. That is the beauty of MCP the changes can often be fast, seamless, and almost sneak up on you without your notice. When you stop and look back, you will likely say, "Wow, look how far I've come!"

The amazing thing is you do not even realize how seamless and automatic the changes are, because they start to feel part of your everyday life. This is wonderful when you take the time to notice it happening. Every once in a while stop, take stock, and get feedback. Identify where your mindset is now different or how you handled a situation better.

My parting words: "Notice what you notice." When you set your purpose, which is to notice the magic, change, and transformation that is taking place, that is exactly what starts to happen.

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