Welcome to Part 1 of our FinerMinds 19-part series aimed at helping YOU become more awesome. What exactly does becoming more awesome mean? Well, it means becoming a person and living a life that blows YOU away.
There is no one else to please in your life except you. Living an awesome (or tremendous or amazing or mind-blowing) life is about claiming ownership of your destiny, identifying the patterns of thinking and behaving that hold you back, defining what makes you happy and means success to you, and taking decisive action to achieve it.
Perhaps you’re thinking this is all rather selfish, this focus on pleasing yourself, becoming a better you. But the fact is being happy and content in your own skin translates into loving kindness and greater compassion towards others.
Think about the individuals around you who are unhappy and chronically dissatisfied. The complainers. I’d wager these aren’t the folks who would be first in line to take action to help another person. It’s the self-actualized beings in your midst who think about how they can help others and make the world a better place.
Some of the knowledge we’ll be sharing is pretty straightforward. This is stuff that most of you know, in theory, but you far too often fail to act on it. These 19 short articles and exercises will keep these core concepts present in your mind so you can actively work on them throughout your day.
This information is crucial to helping you transform your mind, body and spirit: in essence, your life.
Humans are terrible creatures of habit. Most people scurry around in self-defeating loops based on years of bad programming. Half the battle is identifying what you’re doing wrong. Only then can action be taken to make changes to improve the quality of your life.
Much of the knowledge we’re giving you is inspired by the one and only T. Harv Eker, the man behind Peak Potentials Training, the fastest growing personal development company in North America. Using some of the key principles set out by T. Harv Eker – which we will share with you throughout this series – thousands have gone from living lives of mediocrity to lives overflowing with joy, love, abundance, and success.
PART 1: Action vs. Protection
In Part 1, I’m going to focus on your mind. More specifically, I’m going to explain what your mind wants. Obviously, the human mind is hugely complex and nuanced, but one of its primary and primitive functions is to keep you out of danger. Your mind wants to protect you, so it creates fear, so you will NOT act. Your mind works to maintain its present comfort zone.
A favorite phrase of the mind is “what if…” The mind is like this overzealous soap opera writer deeply invested in churning out imagined melodramas. The point here is that they’re imagined. They’re not real. But the unfortunate reality is that we live our lives guided by these dramatic fear-based imaginings that hold us back from taking action and moving forward.
Fear is the tension in the mind between your will to act and your mind trying to protect you.
When you take action (even if you do something many would consider incredibly frightening) and your mind does NOT try to protect you with chatter, you will not feel fear. Fear exists when part of you wants to act and part of you wants to hold back. Fear is also increased by the anticipation of physical and mental pain. Here the key word is ‘anticipation’. Again, it’s imagined. It’s in the future. It only exists in your mind. Of course, there are situations when fear is entirely warranted, like if you were facing down a bear or you encountered a hostile stranger in a dark alley, but these circumstances are highly unusual.
The key is to tame the mental chatter that gives rise to fear.
Chances are the fear won’t go away entirely, but you can slow down and see the mental chatter for what it is: just your mind on overdrive trying to protect you. This helps to strip the chatter of its power to influence you. The key is to act in spite of fear. This is having courage.
- Think about the last time you were scared to do something, but you did it anyway. (Maybe it was giving a presentation at work. Maybe it was attending a swimming class. It could be any situation where you acted in spite of your fear.)
- Close your eyes and bring yourself into that moment – the sights, sounds, thoughts, feelings, etc. Really visualize it.
- Try to clearly identify what it was that you were scared of before you acted. Feel the fear, but pin down what your mind was trying to protect you from? (Was it fear of failure? Was it fear of being judged? It could be a few things.) Make sure you recognize this for what it is, just protective mind chatter.
- Keep visualizing. After you took action, how did it feel to act in spite of the fear? Chances are you felt powerful and strong, both mentally and physically. Try to hold on to that feeling and really own it. Relax and try to do this for about 15 minutes.
- Finally, the next time you feel scared of doing something, first isolate what it is that you’re actually scared of. Remind yourself that this is protective mind chatter. Just say to your mind “thanks for sharing.” Second, call on that feeling of strength you felt the last time you overcame your mind’s protective instinct and acted in spite of the fear. This feeling will help propel you towards action. The more you act in spite of fear, the easier it becomes.