Sunday, May 20, 2007

It's no secret

By Captain Capitalist

You may have heard of a very popular book/dvd/program out there called "The Secret". I haven't purchased it myself, but after talking with some who have, I think I've got the jist of it. Regardless, here's my interpretation of the concept. It's not that complicated, but it does take practice and conscious effort.

A good driving instructor will tell you that if you want to avoid an accident, don't focus on the thing you're trying not to hit. Your naturally tendency is to lock eyes on the obstacle, and often that is what leads to the collision. Instead, you want to look for the "out". Find the open area and focus on it.

You can use the same principal in setting and achieving goals, both in your personal and business life. Too many times we focus on problems, obstacles, reasons why something wont or can't work. If you're always thinking "What if this happens?" This is much more likely to happen. Try setting aside time each day to envision where you want to be in the future, whether it be next week, next month, or in 5 years. Imagine it in as much detail as you can and make up your mind that that is your destination.

Here's the tricky part: Keep that vision in your mind all the time. Always ask yourself, "Is this decision or action going to take me closer to, or farther from, my destination?" If you're always making spur of the moment decisions, you're likely spinning your wheels instead of moving forward. Forget the obstacles. Focus on the "out". Look for openings and opportunities instead of roadblocks and problems. With constant practice you'll find that more opportunities present themselves every day than you'll possibly have time to take advantage of. Pick and choose the ones that will most efficiently get you closer to your goal. When a problem or crisis does come up, you'll feel stress and anxiety. Normally this can send you into very unproductive panic or depression mode. You have to train yourself to react differently to panic and stress. Some of the best ideas come out of crisis and stress situations. It's your body's way of telling you you're facing a problem you don't currently have a solution for. Instead of reacting by thinking "Oh no, I'm hosed." think along the lines of "I'm about to come up with a great idea" and get excited about it.

Of course, before you can put any of this into practice you have to be ready, willing and able to take total responsibility for your own situation. If you're comfortable blaming mis-steps, failures and misfortune on other people, the government, society or fate and you don't want to let that go, it's not going to work for you. Bad things do happen to good people. Take some time to grieve, get mad, sob uncontrollably and get the emotion out. But limit yourself. If it's going to be long term, set aside an hour a day for being miserable, then get back on your horse. If there's a lesson to be learned, learn it. If not, let it go for the next 23 hours, get your bearings back and continue forward.

This doesn't mean that everything you do will be successful, but if you're going to go after something you have to assume it's going to work. Now if you've been beating a dead horse for awhile and it's still not getting up, you need to get a new horse. Adjust the vision, not the method.

With constant effort and focus on the positives all around you, rather than the negatives, you'll find your success rate increasing and generally enjoy each day more. It's not a big secret, just a good idea that you can share with everyone, while still retaining full value for yourself, and best of all - No Charge.