Goal Achievement as Easy as Breathing

Are you ready for a fresh start? Could you use a shift in your life?

There are a lot of people who are enthusiastic about making life changes, and so they work really hard to discipline themselves into new habits. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s HARD!

There’s a better way.

Your mind does a lot of things for you that you never have to think about, and that can include goal achievement.

Think about it: how much discipline do you need to keep your heart beating? How hard is it to remember to breathe? These tasks are handled automatically by your subconscious mind. Pat yourself on the back; you are successful at staying alive, thanks to your subconscious mind—a gift from God provided to each one of his children to handle for us the things that would threaten our survival if we forgot.

Imagine someone telling you, “Wow, you are so good at keeping your heart beating, you are amazing. You are such an example of one who breathes so naturally! If I could just breathe half as well as you, I’d be thrilled!” It seems ridiculous, doesn’t it?

So, what if goal achievement could be handled just as naturally?

If someone congratulates me on achieving a goal that was achieved this way, it almost seems silly to take credit. Sure, I had to hold the vision and take action when action was required; but knowing what to do and when to do it became almost as instinctive as breathing.

Setting a goal and turning it over to your subconscious mind is what activates the extra faculties of intuition, inspiration, or instinct. Turning it over is accomplished through repetition and/or emotion. To put it into simpler terms, it’s praying WITH a clear vision of what you’re trying to accomplish, and a feeling of gratitude and expectation as if it’s already been achieved.

Too often we pray for what we need, while envisioning the disaster we’re trying to avoid, or feeling worried about our potential failure to obtain it. All three parts need to agree: what we ask for, what we see in our mind’s eye, and how we feel.

When those three parts are aligned, things really begin to shift.

Seriously, test it with something small today.

Here’s the thing. Everyone is ALREADY shaping their future using their subconscious mind; they just don’t realize it. I’d venture to guess that most people haven’t noticed the connection between their previous thoughts and feelings, and their present results. But when you begin to trace the effects of your thoughts and feelings, you begin to discover the incredible power that often lies dormant inside your mind.

Wait a minute… if your subconscious mind is already helping you achieve images you handed it previously, what will your results be? Are they predictable? Yes—perhaps more than you realize. To get a clue, ask yourself this:

  • What have my repeated thoughts been about?
  • Which thoughts generate my most frequent emotions?
  • Do I fear and worry, more than I anticipate and excitedly plan for better days?

So that’s the first step: pay attention to your thoughts. And then remember that as you set goals and let your sub-conscious mind do the hard work, achieving them can become as natural as breathing. You are the captain of your soul.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud,
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Invictus by William Earnest Henley

Let me help you initiate some powerful changes in your life. Join me now in the affordable Mindset Fundamentals Ecourse!

For a video explanation of this conscious-to-subconscious transfer, watch The Visual Aid that Changed Everything.

Related: How to know if you’ll reach the goal

Originally published January 3, 2006

Share

What happens when you’re grateful for EVERYTHING

God is a lawful being. There are absolute causes and effects in his law-governed Universe, and as we learn about and abide his laws, we can expect to enjoy the blessings connected to them.

I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” (Doctrine and Covenants 82:10)

It was a profound moment for me when I stopped to realize that there’s a reason, a very specific reason for doing every good thing we’ve been taught to do.

“Be grateful” is not just a band-aid to distract you from pain. It is a law, connected to a blessing.

While you may be wondering if it’s even possible to feel grateful for everything, consider this:

Feeling good about your problems activates certain laws of success for happier outcomes. (And who doesn’t want happier outcomes?)

As I’ve said before, when you change how you feel, the nature of your surroundings begins to shift ever so slightly.

Because people can feel your emotions (even if only subconsciously), they respond to you differently when you change the way you feel. The customer service representative deals with you a little more kindly. The other driver lets you merge. The professor is a little more forgiving about your assignment.

“Let a man cease from his sinful thoughts, and all the world will soften toward him, and be ready to help him. Let him put away his weakly and sickly thoughts, and lo! opportunities will spring up on every hand to aid his strong resolves. Let him encourage good thoughts, and no hard fate shall bind him down to wretchedness and shame.” (James Allen, As a Man Thinketh)

Okay, all that’s fine and dandy—just change your thoughts and feelings and everything will go better. But I’m telling you what, it can be nearly impossible sometimes to even want to feel differently about things. I get it. I’ve been there, maybe even more than I haven’t been there.

But it’s okay. Sometimes we really DO need to give ourselves permission to just feel the full scope of sadness, disappointment or even anger that our situation warrants.

But here’s the trick:

Only go there with the plan to let it be temporary. The Law of Rhythm dictates that there must be ebbs and flows, ups and downs, and even sadness FOLLOWED BY HAPPINESS. But you don’t have to fake the shift, and you don’t have to force it. It WILL COME as a gift; your job is to simply hope for it, and allow it to happen. Don’t fight it when it tries to find you.

(Have you noticed? I think it may be trying to find you now…)

So allow yourself to be sad until you’ve felt it completely, but always maintain a hope and expectation that happiness will again eventually follow.

It happens after a change in perspective. You can help it along by first acknowledging the difficult place you’re in, but then as quickly as you’re able, be grateful for it. Lift your eyes and heart upward with hope—relying on the many promises you’ve been given, that your hope is indeed justified. No matter how ugly it is, be grateful.

Here’s the law:

  • This [is] the day [which] the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalms 118:24)
  • In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  • And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (Colossians 3:17)
  • And let the peace of God rule in your hearts … and be ye thankful. (Colossians 3:15)
  • O give thanks unto the LORD, for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever. (Psalms 107:1)
  • Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing…. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, [and] into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, [and] bless his name. (Psalms 100:1-5)
  •  Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Ephesians 5:20)
  • We accept [it] always, and in all places …with all thankfulness. (Acts 24:3)

Here’s the promise:

  • For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life:
  • Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)
  • Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted
  • Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven… (Matthew 5:3-12)
  • All things work together for good to them that love God, (Romans 8:28)

Do you see the Laws of Polarity and Rhythm depicted here? You are PROMISED comfort when you are sad. You are PROMISED resolution when there is difficulty. You are PROMISED a reward when there is injustice. You are promised ALL things will work together for your good if you love God.

How long you stay in pain may depend on how long you think only about the pain.

I’m convinced that God’s servants included so many hopeful verses to get us THINKING hopeful thoughts when we are in our pits of despair. Because, by the Laws of Perpetual Transmutation and Vibration, that is how we begin to move toward the happier half of the equation.

So let’s explore this. How can you feel good about all the bad stuff you’re dealing with?

It begins with choosing to believe in something that can’t be seen. Choosing to believe that something better is already on its way. Choosing to imagine that something more favorable is already in the works.

“…therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen…” (Alma 32:21)

The Law of Polarity promises a potential blessing to compensate for every hardship. When you start looking for the promised benefit contained in your adversity, you no longer remain the limiting factor in what the positive outcome can be.

Without the glance to Moses’ staff, without the pause to remember the promises in the Beatitudes, without a shift in focus, the natural laws by which God governs can only be expected to bring more of the same unhappiness. Change begins when WE change.

Hope is the answer. At least it’s the beginning. So if you are suffering, take a moment to remember God’s promises. Rehearse them in your mind. Speak them out loud. Allow yourself to hope that they are true, and begin looking for evidence that they are already in effect with you, right now.

When you choose gratitude and trust in the Lord even (especially) during a hardship, you are promised a better outcome—in fact, the best there is to have.

Part of the requirement is to let go of the outcome. Let go of how you want things to be (even if only for a moment), and be grateful now, just as things are. TRUST that if you do this, the best possible outcome WILL be realized, even if you don’t know what that is, and even if you’re not sure it will be good enough to make the pain or disappointment worth it. You must TRUST that it very much WILL be worth it.

The Law of Polarity also promises that if something is just a little bit bad, then the hidden benefit is only just a little bit good. They are equal and opposite. So if you’re dealing with something catastrophic, the promised potential benefit is equally phenomenal. This is why the most unfortunate person in the room is, in reality, the luckiest of them all, for the potential benefit they will realize if they learn to think lawfully about it.

So look forward with hope to whatever that blessing may be. Expect it. Be grateful for it, even before it is yours.

I’ve learned (although sometimes I forget) that if I experience a terrible blow or disappointment, the sooner I get on my knees and thank God for the awful thing I’m experiencing, the sooner it passes. In those times, my prayers often sound like this:

“Dear Father in Heaven, -sigh- thank you for this challenge. I don’t know how it is good for me, or why I must endure it, but thank you for it. I’m sure there’s a good reason, and I look forward to discovering what it is. Thank you for giving me a bad day (week, month, year…) if for no other reason but that I will know a good one when I have one. Help me through this. Help me find the hidden blessing in it. (Then I pause to really feel what I’m saying, and I try to imagine how he sees me in that moment. I imagine him feeling proud of me for choosing gratitude in spite of the circumstances. Then I close my prayer…) In Jesus’ name, amen.”

When I do this with sincerity, I absolutely feel a shift every time, and I know that the future outcome just changed for the better. I know it. And it has yet to fail me. I’ve been able to look back every time and see why my gratitude was not in vain.

Example: How a bad experience can be good

I think of the story shared by Corrie Ten Boom who suffered many difficulties in the German Concentration Camps. At one time, she and her sister argued about whether they must really express gratitude to God for even the fleas that infested their quarters. They were women of faith, but this was a tough thing to do. As it turned out, many of the other prisoners were regularly troubled by the guards, but Corrie and her sister were left alone—because of those horrible fleas.

As Napoleon Hill so eloquently stated, “Every adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.” So yes, we can be grateful for even the fleas, and even the hardships we face today. In truth, all things can work out for our good if we expect them to, looking forward to the understanding that will eventually come, and allowing the good to emerge through the tragedy like a gleaming sunrise after the coldest, darkest night. Remember, it’s always darkest just before the dawn.

As M. Catherine Thomas said in her book, Light in the Wilderness, “…if you wish to feel the most penetrating power of the Spirit, try the experiment of giving thanks in the moment of disappointment, of tragedy, of the specter of ruin. When you are able to do it consistently, you will feel as though you have discovered and united with the mystery of life.”

To learn more about the Laws, read Hidden Treasures. (FREE!)

And please, share this article with someone who needs an uplift today. Originally published April 6, 2012.

Share

Nix the Scorekeeping

If you’re married and working toward a goal, sometimes living the principles can be especially challenging because deep down you have certain expectations of what your spouse is supposed to be doing.

Heck, it can be hard enough achieving goals with all the lofty expectations of what YOU are supposed to be doing!

At one time I had to come to terms with the fact that I was in another one of those “temporary seasons of imbalance” and decided to just hunker down and get through it. My husband agreed, and was there to support me, filling in gaps wherever he could, rather than getting frustrated that there were gaps to be filled.

What an example. I have often struggled to reciprocate that same kind of support.

He and I run through life at a different pace. I’m a sprinter, while he’s a distance runner. I burn out, while he steadily plugs along. So there have been many, many times when our mutual goal setting efforts have ended in shipwreck.

I’ve pondered this dilemma deeply, because it’s common among many couples. I’ve seen more than one relationship crumble under the weight of such differences. Sometimes I think it’s a wonder that we’ve made it through those times with our marriage still in tact.

Marriage requires adjustments and compromises. It might even require unplanned course-changes, which is why it’s important to establish your priorities early with clarity and resoluteness.

I’ve abandoned goals that threatened to compromise my top priority: my marriage covenant. My husband has abandoned goals if they’ve put a strain on our relationship. I’m not saying that is good, bad, or indifferent; I’m just saying that when your values, priorities, and ideals are in stone, then decisions, sacrifices, and disappointments can eventually be resolved with greater serenity.

(I understand some marriages need to end. But that’s a topic for another day, and probably for someone more qualified to address.)

Marriage also requires patience, and an understanding that we all have ups and downs (Law of Rhythm). Most of the time, I was up while he was down, or I was down while he was up.

That’s life.

So in your marriage, even if you’re both working hard to learn and understand the laws of success, you’ll learn them and apply them at different paces and in different ways.

When you’re in the groove, your spouse may struggle. When you’re spouse is on a roll, you may struggle. How, then, can you succeed as a couple if you can’t seem to get it right at the same time?

Count your blessings if the above description sums up your relationship. The Law of Rhythm states that everything in life is cyclical. We will have up days and we’ll have down days. When you’re on an up, go ahead and get a whole bunch of stuff done! Take advantage.

When you’re down, go with it and let it serve its purpose (as described in Hidden Treasures), with an expectation that your turn for an up day is on its way.

Don’t allow yourself to feel frustrated when the two of you can’t seem to make quantum leaps forward together. It is GOOD that you’re on different tracks, because if you both were to crash at the same time, who’d be there to pick up the pieces?

Allow yourself to feel the joy that comes when you say, “It’s okay, you can have a down day, and I’ll carry the torch until you come around.”

Imagine how that would make your partner feel. You’ve just turned a frustration into a blessing, which is a key skill for building a mindset for success. The goals you strive for will continue to move toward you as you show compassion to your spouse in his or her valley, and refuse to keep score.

Take responsibility. The minute you begin to fume and fuss over what someone else is doing or not doing, you lose power. Instead of passing judgment, be grateful for his/her companionship, and the opportunity you have to grow through the experience.

Find the good. Think on the positive aspects of your spouse. Think and speak about the good things, and the good will grow. Don’t expect everything to be fixed overnight. Some of our challenges have taken ten, even twenty years to resolve. What kept us going was a common belief that we’d eventually figure it all out. Some days I wasn’t so sure, and on other days I’m certain he wasn’t so sure. But there has always been at least one of us believing, or when perhaps if we were ever both in doubt, we didn’t speak of it because failure was not an option.

Move forward with faith, and if you are struggling now because of a conflict with your spouse, count it a blessing (Law of Polarity) and start looking for the seed of equal or greater benefit contained in the adversity.

“Never let a problem to be solved” [or a goal to be achieved] “become more important than a person to be loved.” ~ Thomas S. Monson

Marriage is not a 50/50 proposition. You don’t ‘divi’ up the responsibilities and then critique your partner’s performance on his/her share. It’s a 100/100, or perhaps even a 110/110 proposition.

Do what you can do, even if it means sharing the other person’s load. Even if it means carrying the whole load for a while. Sometimes it may feel like 150/20. Maybe it feels that way most of the time. But if you try hard enough, and are willing to see it, I’ll bet you can remember at least once when it was 10/130. We all take turns, even if sometimes that turn goes on for years.

Whatever the numbers are, how you let yourself feel about carrying more than your “fair” share may well determine your future success. It also may very well determine how quickly things shift.

But if you begrudge the load, you rob yourself of the joy AND potential prosperity (monetary or otherwise) that is waiting for you on the other side of the adversity.

Remember, through natural law, God’s universe responds to the feelings you emit. So for now, try feeling grateful that you are able to help today. What if, for some reason, you couldn’t help, even if you wanted to?

Things could always be worse (Law of Relativity).

So don’t keep score. Inevitably, there will be a day when you are the one who needs to be carried. Serve with joy here and now, sacrifice whatever is necessary in the short term to make it work, and you’ll both reap great benefits soon enough.

Nag not. Be patient. Allow those you love to grow at their own pace. I know, it may delay the prize, but you may discover that the prize without your relationships in tact may not be a prize at all.

And if your spouse isn’t on board in the least with the things you’re learning, you can still prosper; you can still succeed. Have faith in God’s ability to show you how to achieve your dreams without compromising your values, even if you’re the only one who believes in them.

As Wendell Phillips said, “One, on God’s side, is a majority.”

Related: What if My Spouse Doesn’t Think Positive? Originally published March 13, 2007

Share

Unseen Help

there is unseen help. When your goal is detailed and clear, the help stays on task with maximum efficiency.

I love the idea that there is unseen help available when you set out to accomplish a difficult goal. However, there are things you must do, or you may never see EVIDENCE of that help.

I know you’ve probably heard this before, but one of those things is writing your goal down.

I thought I already understood this. In fact, I had been teaching seminars on that very concept for a decade. But then I learned a very expensive lesson.

In one sense, I had become lazy. But really, I was just fatigued. I had stopped relying on unseen help to bridge the gap between what I could do, and what needed to be done. I had been running faster than I had strength. And I had neglected one very important step.

So even if you think you know what I’m going to say, I hope you’ll let me save you from making the same mistake.

It was years ago when we created an online training program, which was supposed to be released quite some time before it actually did.

The reason for the delay taught me a powerful lesson in goal achievement.

After I had created the curriculum and loaded the content, my husband (who, in his previous life worked in the IT department for Universal Studios) headed up the site structure and development.

Many times, during the first six months of the project, the developers asked me how certain pieces should be handled. Not only did I answer with vague generalities; but (to everyone’s dismay), I also quite often changed my mind.

Even worse, sometimes my answer was, “Oh, whatever you think is best.”

Well, months later – having also spent tens of thousands of dollars more than planned – we looked back on the project, and ultimately realized that it still wasn’t ready to release, because basically, our developers were running after a moving target.

That we put a date to the goal was irrelevant, because the target had not been clearly identified.

During those months after the target date, the site was intricately developed; but every time we thought it was nearly done, we’d discover that it wasn’t quite right and needed to be reworked.

My problem was that I didn’t know well enough – right from the beginning – what I wanted.  I didn’t know how the finished project SHOULD be.

All I had was a general idea; and I just took it for granted that the developers would figure it all out for me. After all, they’re the experts, right?

(I guess I assumed they could see my vision, without my describing it in detail.)

Ultimately, after going in circles too many times, the developers finally INSISTED that we give them a fully-developed ‘spec’.

A ‘spec’ is a document that specifies in absolute detail, every single aspect of what the site needs to be able to do, and precisely how it’s supposed to look and behave under every possible user action.

It’s the blueprint for the website.

Frankly, after already spending more than a year creating the curriculum, I was frustrated that I’d have to also help create a ‘spec’.

I wanted to say, “I already did MY part; can’t you all just figure it out?”

But with only vague directions, and different ideas floating around between the developers, problems kept cropping up.

Beta testers lost data, new registrants found themselves trapped in frustrating loops; and worst of all, we ultimately realized that the whole system had been built in the wrong environment, causing problems that weren’t going to go away unless we started all over.

Here’s the point of my confession.  I’ve been teaching people for years the importance of putting goals in writing, with detail.

And to be honest, I’ve successfully achieved many of my goals without going through the trouble.  It’s tedious work to put it in writing, and I don’t enjoy taking the time.  But this experience taught me how much more quickly, and smoothly (and less expensively) goals can be achieved if you DO take the time to create a ‘spec’.

I learned that yes, goals can be achieved if you just muscle it through, one way or another; but you’ll be more efficient, and your “developers” will be better utilized if you don’t leave so many variables up to chance.

So, what about you and your goals?

  • Are you vague, or are you perfectly clear about what you’re pursuing right now?
  • Do you change your mind often?
  • Do you sit back undecided and say, “Oh, whatever is best“?

The truth is, what’s best is that you choose.  Excellence doesn’t happen TO YOU.  You’ve got to step forward and initiate the change for which you keep wishing.

Life provides hardships and challenges so that you’ll wake up and start doing the uncomfortable things that help you become your best self.  That’s why the hardships are a gift.  The painful site delays and setbacks became a gift, to teach us this important lesson.

So, if you care about the outcome of your goal, and if you care about how quickly and inexpensively it is realized, then take responsibility for your life and write a ‘spec’.  Write your goals in detail, in present-tense, as though you were describing exactly how the finished project (your life) will look when it’s done.

Imagine that you really do have an unseen ‘developer’ somewhere, busily working for you, orchestrating the right people and opportunities for every one of your objectives.

But every time you change your mind, your assistant must drop everything and start all over.  If you’re unclear, then even if you don’t change your mind, it’s almost guaranteed that what shows up will be different than what you really meant.

(By the way, I never physically met the developers we had hired; so in many ways, they were just like the ‘unseen help’ that comes to your aid when you set a goal.)

So, create that well-documented ‘spec’.  Or if you’re not a techie, maybe it’s easier to imagine that you have some kind of an angelic ‘foreman’ waiting for your blueprint.

Sure, you could probably still achieve almost any goal without a blueprint or a ‘spec’; but the time, energy, and money lost from meandering and course-correcting can set you back so far that you may run out of steam entirely before the dream is realized. 

That’s the risk you take when you do not put in writing the things you need and want with detail.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that God and the Universe will ‘figure it all out’ for you.  In that case, you may end up meandering and course-correcting a lot more than necessary. You’ve been given the free agency to select good causes in which you will be anxiously engaged.  Heavenly ‘help’ is available to you as soon as you’re ready to enlist it.  But it won’t impose upon you.

So decide what you want to accomplish, and then ask clearly – and in faith – for the assistance you need.

Don’t be paralyzed by indecision. Don’t wait to know exactly what your goals ‘should’ be.  If you think about what you want, and make a decision firmly and resolutely to go for it without hesitation, then if for some reason it’s wrong, you’ll find out soon enough, and have sufficient momentum to make the proper course correction in time.

To learn how, read The Jackrabbit Factor (free). If you already have, then it’s time for the next step. Let me help you activate that ‘unseen help’, so you can proceed with confidence that you’re not going it alone. Originally published August 19, 2011

Share