As entrepreneurs, I believe we are all on a similar path of self development and personal growth. That we are not sheep, but want to take control of our own lives in a meaningful way.
Most of you already know that I am a huge fan of Napoleon Hill's work in Think and Grow Rich.
What I love most is how it teaches you to generate a "burning desire" for what you want, instead of just wishing, and how that burning desire compels you to take actions (both consciously and subconsciously) toward making that desire a reality.
Realizing that I had a choice in life was a monumental turning point for me. Up to that point, which was around 10 years ago, I simply allowed life to happen. And boy did it ever. If you do nothing at all, life will still go on all the way around you - and even involve you. And you can let the world create you like that, mold you, or you can take control and create the version of yourself you prefer to be...
Over the weekend I watched What the Bleep Do We Know!?, which was incredibly thought-provoking. So much so that I hopped online and ordered Evolve Your Brain by Joe Dispenza because I enjoyed his commentary in the film so much. It should be here in a couple of days.
I would be interested to hear if you have seen the film or read his book, and if so - what you thought of it?
Ironically, the next morning I found an article from Zen Habits in my feed reader titled Life as a Conscious Practice. Uncanny timing!
In the article, Leo discusses both physical habits and thought processes - and how we can consciously change our actions and choices. And if Leo's article interests you at all, I highly recommend you watch the DVD (above) as it will take you ten layers deeper on the topic.
"I Can't." - What Would You Do If You COULD?
To say "I can't" is probably the easiest, and most likely response to any major change or new concept. You'll hear people say why they can't quit smoking, write a good blog post, stop eating junk food, leave an unhealthy relationship, start exercising, move to a better location, manage time better, keep a clean home or even a clean desk, etc.
We simply "can't", and we accept that as how we are - or who we are. And often we go a step further and actually embrace it...
The mind is a powerful thing. It can rationalize anything in our favor. Just look at the US legal system as a good example. The heart is fickle, talking us into chasing butterflies and indulging our fancy of the moment. But in our GUT we know that we "can". We know that without a doubt.
The next time you hear yourself say "I can't" - whether out loud or in your mind - ask yourself "Why Not?" The debate that ensues between your mind and your gut will prove interesting if you listen in. Anytime you feel conflicted, it's usually because your mind is trying to talk you out of what you want - or what you know you should do. And the mind does this based on programming from past experience and external influences... keeping you on the exact same path, with the exact same circumstances, for as long as you'll let it.
How does this relate to online business?
Are you where you want to be? Are you (honestly) taking all the right actions toward reaching your goals? Do you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, and a timeline for when you will realistically be able to achieve it?
If you answered yes to those questions, you're one step ahead of me. If you answered no to any of them, it's time to stop and take stock of where you are and what you're doing - and why. (Hint: the key is in your "why")
Do you let the flow of the day dictate what you accomplish? Such as how many emails you received, or how many new blog posts are in your feed reader? Or do you wake up and do your priority tasks FIRST before you allow yourself the leisure of distraction?
If you're like me, you started an online business because you wanted more control over your life and your time. You wanted the freedom to create your ideal lifestyle. You wanted to be independent. So... are you? Do you have more control, or is life and time still controlling you?
As an entrepreneur, most of us are dealing with a higher level of stress than we anticipated. It's certainly more difficult and more challenging than holding a traditional job, which is why finding stress management techniques that work for you is so important. I know many of my peers take scheduled breaks, meditate or exercise to break through the frustration and mental blocks...
I Can't Either
I'm a serious creature of habit. I find creating good new habits just as difficult as quitting bad habits. I'm bad to say that I can't start my day without my coffee. Not true. I proved that just the other day, just for fun.
Even saying "I can't" is just a habit.
But something really cool happens when you become aware of why you think what you think, and why you do the things you do - even when it makes absolutely no sense at all.
I don't have all the answers. I'm still on my own path of discovery and realization. The only real advice I have to share with you is to get on that same path if you're not already. To look for answers instead of accepting "what is". To step out of the mold life will put you in, and start creating your own life - just the way you please.
And if you haven't seen it yet, watch What the Bleep Do We Know!?
It'll blow your mind.
You'll have to forgive this somewhat foo-foo topic, but I felt compelled to share this with you. I usually keep my deeper thinking to myself, along with topics like politics & religion (lol), but I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this!