I Can. Therefore, I Will.
Unleashing the Full Potentials of Your Mind
By Michael Berry
DISCLAIMER AND TERMS OF US
OK some required disclaimers here. I Michael Berrymake no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness, or completeness of the contents of this report. The information contained in this report is strictly for educational purposes. Therefore, if you wish to apply ideas contained in this report, you are taking full responsibility for your actions.
EVERY EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO ACCURATELY REPRESENT THIS PRODUCT AND IT'S POTENTIAL. HOWEVER, THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT YOU WILL IMPROVE IN ANY WAY USING THE TECHNIQUES AND IDEAS IN THESE MATERIALS. EXAMPLES IN THESE MATERIALS ARE NOT TO BE INTERPRETED AS A PROMISE OR GUARANTEE OF ANYTHING. SELF-HELP AND IMPROVEMENT POTENTIAL IS ENTIRELY DEPENDENT ON THE PERSON USING OUR PRODUCT, IDEAS AND TECHNIQUES.
YOUR LEVEL OF IMPROVEMENT IN ATTAINING THE RESULTS CLAIMED IN MY MATERIALS DEPENDS ON THE TIME YOU DEVOTE TO THE PROGRAM, IDEAS AND TECHNIQUES MENTIONED, KNOWLEDGE AND VARIOUS SKILLS. SINCE THESE FACTORS DIFFER ACCORDING TO INDIVIDUALS, I CANNOT GUARANTEE YOUR SUCCESS OR IMPROVEMENT LEVEL. NOR AM I RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY OF YOUR ACTIONS.
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Michael Berry and publisher disclaim any warranties (express or implied), merchantability, or fitness for any particular purpose. Michael Berry and publisher shall in no event be held liable to any party for any direct, indirect, punitive, special, incidental or other consequential damages arising directly or indirectly from any use of this material, which is provided "as is", and without warranties.
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OK having got that out of the way, let's get down to it.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………………... 4
CHAPTER 1: The Nature of the Mind ………………………………………… 6
Open and Vast
Reflects in Full and Precise Details
Unbiased towards any Impression
Potential for Having Everything Already Accomplished
CHAPTER 2: Thoughts Generated by the Mind ……………………………... 13
The Clash between the Positive and Negative Thoughts
CHAPTER 3: The Mind as an Empowering Agent …………………………... 24
Power of Positive Thinking
Power of Negative Thinking
CHAPTER 4: Training the Mind ……………………………………………… 33
CHAPTER 5: Mind Power Implies Will Power ………………………………. 41
I Can Look Good, Feel Good, and Be Good
I Can be Recognized
I Can Make Many Friends
I Can Find True Love
I Can Reach my Goals
CHAPTER 6: Mind Facts, Insights, and Truths ………………………………. 51
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION ………………………………………….. 59
Before we begin, let me first ask you a simple question. Don’t worry. This won’t bend your mind nor twist your brain. It’s a no-brainer, actually. Ok, here goes: What do Superman, Spiderman, Batman, the X-men, and the Incredible Hulk have in common? See, it’s easy, right? Yes, they all have supernatural powers – special abilities that make them supreme, invincible and indestructible, and which cause them to be recognized as superheroes. They use these special powers to do good things to people and defeat evil entities. But, unfortunately, they are not real. They are only works of man’s creative imagination. They don’t exist in the real world. That’s why, unlike in comic books and movies, when our city is in trouble, there is no superhero to call to save the day. It really seems to be too good to be true, isn’t it?
Now, let us try to add another one in the list; this time, a real person, say you, me, your teacher, my next-door neighbor, or simply anyone who exists in this world. The list would now be like this: Superman, Spiderman, Batman, the X-men, the Incredible Hulk, and you. Again, same question: What could be the common factor among those in the list? Remember, it includes you now. So before answering, you might ask another question first. Is there really something we all possess? Indeed, there is. Even changing the last entry to me, your teacher, my next-door neighbor, or whoever real person you may think of, still there will always be something common between a superhero and a real person like you and me, and that is power.
Ever envied a superhero for having supernatural powers? I think we all have. Just imagine how cool and fascinating it would be to become invisible even for just a minute or two, to fly across mountains and seas, to climb tall buildings and walls, to create fire or ice depending on what the situation needs, or to simply have that special physical strength to be able to do things that normal people can’t do. But are these kinds of power only necessary to make us superior over others? As real people in the real world, we can never possess any of these supernatural physical powers. What we have is the power to mold our personality, to shape our future, to create our destiny, and to determine who and what we are – a power greater than any other supernatural powers, a power that builds reality and not mere imagination, a power which everyone possesses and can make him a hero in his own ways. This is the power of the mind.
Funny how we tend to be so addicted in looking outside ourselves that we have almost totally lost access to our inner being. We are so afraid to look inward because we might not be happy with what we could see. We make our lives so hectic that we eliminate the slightest risk of looking into ourselves.Therefore, we settle on observing things outside of our own. We make comparisons, judgments, and evaluations which only lead us in concluding and, worse, accepting the fact that we are inferior among others.
What we don’t know is that we have the power to reverse what the outside world makes us believe in. If it says that we are wrong, we have the power to make us right. If it says we are losers, we have the power to be winners. If it says we are non-existent, we have the power to make everyone see that we are alive and surviving. And that is how the power of our mind works – making us more supreme, invincible, and indestructible than any other superhero is.
If the world says you can’t, say "I can. Therefore, I will."
The Nature of the Human Mind
The Nature of the Human Mind
No species possesses a purpose beyond the imperatives created by genetic history...
The human mind is a device for survival and reproduction, and reason is just one of its various techniques.
- Edward O. Wilson (1929- )
On Earth, man occupies a peculiar position that sets him apart him from all other entities in our planet. While all the other things – animate or inanimate, living or non-living – behave according to regular patterns to balance nature, man seems to enjoy – within definite limits – a small amount of freedom. Man controls his way of living, speaks his own language, perceives and learns great amount of knowledge, manages his emotions, and deals properly with problems he faces. All of which is unique to man only. There is, in fact, within the infinite expanse of the universe a small field in which man's conscious conduct can change the course of events.
It is this fact that causes man to distinguish between an external world subject to unstoppable and endless necessity, and his human faculty of thinking, cognizing, and acting. In Philosophy, mind or reason is contrasted with matter, something that is extended in space and persists through time. Fully aware of the fact that his own body is subject to the same forces that determine all other things and beings, man attributes his ability to think, to will and to act to an invisible and intangible, yet powerful, factor he calls his mind.
The mind, including the processes it carries out such as thinking, learning, memorizing, remembering, and the likes, is one characteristic that distinguishes man from any other being in the world. The nature of the human mind is like that of a mirror; having different functions and features: (a) open and vast, (b) reflects in full and precise details, (c) unbiased towards any impression, (d) distinguishes clearly, and (e) potential for having everything already accomplished.
Open and Vast
Martin H. Fischer (1879-1962), a German-born U.S. physician and author, quoted "All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind." Isn’t it ironic how small the human brain where mind processes undergo is, and yet it encloses matters in as huge as the universe? That’s how open and vast the mind can be. It can consist of things as trivial as the number of moles you have in your body, or as essential as how many dosages of cough syrup you need to take in when you are sick. It can create illusion or reality, bring delight or sadness, trigger conflict or peace, and generate love or hatred. And most importantly, it can make you, by influencing you how to be the best of who you are, or break you, by covering you with all the fears, embarrassment, and shame you least need in going through everyday.
The exposure of the mind to practically ‘anything under the sun’ keeps it from hiding any secrets the world unfolds from us. But again, all information that we can easily gather from outside is not always being marked off by the society – which is good and which is bad, which is right and which is wrong, or which is divine and which is evil. Therefore, the mind, as an all-encompassing system, accesses everything and yet restricts us from nothing.
Indeed, we have to agree with Fischer that the world is just a laboratory of the inquiring mind. A gigantic world of mind exists to which we are almost totally unexposed. This whole world is made by the mind. Our minds made this up and put these things together. Every bolt and nut was put in by one after the other’s mind. This whole world is mind’s world – the product of mind.
Reflects in Full and Precise Details
In her outstanding book, Choose the Happiness Habit, Pam Golden writes: "Take the story of two brothers who are twins. One grows up to be an alcoholic bum. The other becomes an extremely successful businessman. When the alcoholic is asked why he became a drunk, he replies, ‘My father was a drunk.’ When the successful businessman is asked why he became successful, he says, ‘My father was a drunk.’ Same background.Same upbringing. Different choices."
The brothers chose different thoughts regarding the identical experience they’ve been in. One took the fact that their father was a drunk as an example for him to imitate; thus, making him one too. In contrast, the other brother thought the same idea as something not to be mimicked, making him doing the opposite thing until he became successful. Those thoughts over the years shaped the circumstances where they are now. Whatever viewpoint they had about the situation was reflected on how they are doing now.
In other words, whatever there is in our mind can be fully and precisely reflected through our actions. It is due to the process where thinking creates images in our mind. These images, in turn, will control feelings like joy or sadness. Such feelings will cause us to do actions on how we would deal with each one of them. And lastly, these actions shall create results. Therefore, the mind, particularly thinking, implies reflection and creation of results. This is simplified through the very common cliché "You are what you think of."
Unbiased towards any Impression
Whenever we look at the outside world, or just any of the things it consists of, we tend to have a very strong impression of its substantiality. What we probably don't realize is that the strong impression is merely our own mind's interpretation of what it sees. We think that the strong, solid reality really exists outside, and when we look within ourselves, perhaps we feel empty. This is a common misconception among people. The wrong mental attitude that fails to realize that the strong impression that appears to truly exist outside of us is actually projected by our own mind. Everything we experience – feelings, sensations, even shapes and colors – comes from our minds. This leads me to my favorite quote; "We all see and experience the world, not as it is, but as we are!" I have a post on my blog about this at http://blog.prosperyourmind.com/?p=40
To illustrate the point clearly, imagine one morning you woke up with a foggy mind and vague visual of the day ahead. Isn’t it that the world around you also appears to be dark and foggy, too? On the other hand, when the world seems beautiful and light one day, you should understand that basically, those impressions are coming from your own mind, rather than from changes in the external environment. Therefore, instead of misinterpreting whatever you experience in life through judgmental wrong conceptions, you should realize that it's not outer reality but only mind.
For example, when everybody in a classroom looks at a single object, say, the teacher, each of the students has a particularly different notion on him, even though, simultaneously, they are all looking at the same thing, or person for that matter. These different experiences don't come from the teacher. They come from the students’ minds. Although they all see the same face, the same body, and the same clothes, their interpretations are still superficial. Analyzing deeply, the way they perceive him and the way they feel about him, is individual and different – all of which came from the mind of the students and not from the physical manifestation of the teacher.
This sort of equalizing wisdom of the mind is not likely to make any unfair preference on any impressions made. It only affirms that every interpretations made on a subject in the outside world is not a fact, but an idea of the mind.
What we see is not always what we get. There are certain things in this world in which their physical appearance is far different from their real attributes. Using only our 5 bodily senses, we may readily accept what we see, hear, smell, taste, and feel even if it refutes reality. But with the mind, it helps us distinguish clearly what the entity really is; thus, helping us too in making wise decisions.
Take for example this situation: you overheard a person say that it will rain this afternoon. Without thinking and analyzing the circumstances, you are going to believe it unhesitatingly. You may even cancel your plans in going out in order to avoid the hassle it will bring. In other words, without any basis other than some opinion of a person you don’t even know, you accept the idea as true. And so, you make adjustments.
Using the mind, we can always not believe what we sense. This is if, not only they contradict with the observations, analyses and evaluations we made with them, but also they disprove a general truth. In the situation above, the mind can intervene in several manners – observing if the clouds are darker than usual, checking the weather news in the TV or newspaper for possible pouring of rain, etc – so as not to immediately accept the idea that it is going to rain. For instance, having observed the outside climate, you found out that the sun is high and the clouds are clear. Or, having checked the weather news, you knew that there will be no rain during the day. Therefore, you may now conclude that it will not going to rain, and that you don’t have to cancel any plans you have.
Hence, what our five senses cannot perform well, the mind does.
Potential for Having Everything Already Accomplished
Funny how we have always been told, at least once in our life, to "put your mind in what you’re doing" whether it would be studying, working, cooking, gardening, or simply reading. What could be the reason behind that? Well, these people – our parents, teachers, guardians, bosses, and friends to name some – are obviously concerned in our welfare that they want us to concentrate and work hard in whatever it is that we are performing. In doing so, we can easily accomplish our goals and achieve success.
There is a big difference in doing a job with the body and doing a job with the mind. In the former, one uses his hands and other parts of his body in performing a certain task which eventually will get tired and should be put to rest. Since the human body is subject to weaknesses and is limited in terms of functions, abuse of it may cause fatigue and other physical inabilities. Thus, it may affect the execution and termination of a task. On the other hand, in doing a job mainly with the mind, one does not leave all the work with the body. He thinks of ways on how to minimize the possible physical activities needed, to lessen the amount of time required, and to get the most out of the job being done. In this way, the task is most likely to be accomplished in just a little time, with the least effort but with the best result.
Thoughts Generated by the Mind
Thoughts Generated by the Mind
All of our behavior results from the thoughts that preceded it. So the thing to work on is not your behavior but the thing that caused your behavior, your thoughts.
- Dr. Wayne Dyer
There are many different ways by which cognitive scientists try to understand and explain mind functioning. Underlying these different approaches is the assumption that any mind activity involves the transformation of information through a series of processes – procedures and operations – that draw upon existing mental patterns or knowledge representations.
The analogy is often made between the human mind and the computer, one of the many possible metaphors and the most commonly used for it. They even say that the mind is a super-computer – greater, better, and more efficient than any computer there is. Just as any computer can run many different programs, the human can perform many different behaviors, as well. Both the computer and the human mind store their files and programs in their memory until they are needed. In computers, these programs are those that let you write documents such as letters, reports, or books like this, surf the internet, play music or videos, and many more. By analogy, programs being stored in the human mind are those that tell us how to cook, play tennis, wash dishes, sing and dance, and a lot more, too.
Computers generate thousands and thousands of information through processing the raw data the user inputs. The human mind is not at all different from this. For a clearer view, let’s take for example the process by which a search engine in the internet undergoes. In cyberspace, one can look for a particular subject without even standing up from his seat. All he has to do is open a search engine, type the subject matter he is looking for, and wait for the results to be produced by the engine. Simple and common topics like love, the Earth, McDonald’s, etc. that you might key in may produce millions of results. Some are relevant and may conform to what you are really looking for, while others are insignificant and do not focus mainly on the topic – that they may only mention the word once or twice.
Like computers, particularly search engines in the internet, the mind also generates thoughts and ideas this way – quick and easy, provides plentiful results, yet with complications. We can never ask a search engine to list only the ones we need, the appropriate ones, and to neglect those that hardly match what we are looking for. Likewise, relevant and irrelevant thoughts will also always pop up in our minds. We can never avoid it, but we can always check them one by one and classify as to positive or negative thoughts.
Consider the situation where you want to buy a present for your grandmother’s birthday but you have no money to afford one. And so, using your mind, you think of possible ways to acquire money. After some time, this is what you have come up with:
As we have mentioned earlier, the mind will produce all sorts of things – good or bad, right or wrong – and we can never avoid it. What we can do is to organize and arrange them according to the level of their uprightness, i.e. What is a good and decent way in which I can acquire money? A better way? The best way?, or to classify them according to decency, i.e. What are the good ways? Which are the bad ways? Now, let us try solving and use our mind in dealing with this.
Among the ideas in the list generated by the mind, such as to run errands for somebody, to ask money from parents, to sell things that aren’t in use anymore, to apply for a job, to borrow money, and to join contests are those that we can say proper and acceptable ways in acquiring money. These thoughts are what we call positive thoughts. On the other hand, to steal money, to sell things that aren’t yours, to beg money from strangers, to ask money from other people, and to gamble are inappropriate and unacceptable solutions to the problem. They are considered negative thoughts.
In the mind, these positive and negative thoughts are always in conflict. What wins among them is shown through our actions and behavior towards things. In the example above, if what you did is anything among the "proper and acceptable" ways, then the positive thoughts won over the negative. Alternatively, if you chose to do any of the "inappropriate and unacceptable" ways, then the negative thoughts had won over the positive ones.
Encarta Dictionary (2003) defines the tem "positive" as "confident, optimistic, and focusing on the goods things rather than the bad." Therefore, positive thoughts are sets of ideas in the mind that brings confidence, optimism, and focus to an individual. Familiar with the song Beautiful by Christina Aguillera? This is a good example of a song with words pertaining to positive outlook on how to see one’s self. Below is the complete lyrics of the song:
Every day is so wonderful
And suddenly, it's hard to breathe
Now and then, I get insecure
From all the fame, I'm so ashamed
I am beautiful no matter what they say
Words can't bring me down
I am beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can't bring me down
So don't you bring me down today
To all your friends, you're delirious
So consumed in all your doom
Trying hard to fill the emptiness
The piece is gone and the puzzle undone
That's the way it is
You are beautiful no matter what they say
Words won't bring you down
You are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words won't bring you down
Don't you bring me down today
No matter what we do
No matter what they say
When the sun is shining through
Then the clouds won't stay
And everywhere we go
The sun won't always shine
But tomorrow will find a way
All the other times
We are beautiful no matter what they say
Yes, words won't bring us down
We are beautiful no matter what they say
Yes, words can't bring us down
Don't you bring me down today
They say that beauty is relative and that it is in the eye of the beholder. Therefore, like how Ms. Aguillera points it out, we are all beautiful in our own little ways and we shouldn’t let anyone or anything bring us down. This is an example of a positive thought that brings positive outlook in life. With much of these, dealing with problems like making friends or finding true love or reaching goals, would not be as hard as it may seem. There will always be this so called "fighting spirit" to take away all fears and get rid of any insecurity that causes such problems.
Simple I can’s and I am’s shall be a great way to start cultivating our minds with positive thoughts. To add to our example above, optimistic thinking includes "I am smart. I am open to new ideas and knowledge," "I can stand out in a crowd, though not with my looks, but with my smile," and "I can be noticed by anyone if I’ll crack clever jokes." It’s easy to fill our minds with positive thoughts, isn’t it? After all, most of the things in this world are relative. I have a post about this on my blog http://blog.prosperyourmind.com/?p=45
"Negative", the opposite of positive, means "being pessimistic or tending to have an undesirable outlook" (Encarta Dictionary 2003). Referring now to thoughts being generated in the mind, these are the unconstructive ideas that discourage an individual to be someone or do something. They pull him down so as not to believe in himself or in what he can do. They started with simple notions, were filled by wrong principles due to unpleasant experiences in life, until they take up and conquer his whole mindset. It’s bad enough that everyone possesses these thoughts but what’s worse is that not all can overcome them.
Usually, these negative thoughts are observable on people with expressions like "I’m not good at anything. Science, Math, Speech, you name it. I can’t do it," "I can’t face her. I’m just too shy. Will you just give her this for me," or "What if I made a mistake? My boss will surely gonna kill me."
No, not, don’t, can’t, won’t, and what if’s – these are the usual manifestations of negative thinking. It’s as if they have this function to build a wall between you and the place you’re going; thus, holding you back from doing something without even trying. That’s how evil negative thoughts can be.
Clash between Positive and Negative Thoughts
The concept of positive and negative exists in many fields of study. And in all of these, they seem to oppose each other. They are in constant conflict. Like in the above joke, in grammar and languages, they refer to expressions. Positive expressions state affirmations and agreement to something previously said, while negative expressions declare disagreements and differences of opinion in a discourse.
In mathematics, where positive and negative concepts also exist, they refer to integers. Positive integers are numbers greater than 0, located on the right of the number line, and continue to increase its value. On the other hand, negative integers are the exact opposite of positive ones – numbers less than 0, located at the left of the number line and with decreasing value.
Medicine is another field of study which uses the terms positive and negative. Positive is an indication of presence of something in a test, usually particular organisms and illness as in HIV positive. Then again, absence of these particular diseases or condition that is being tested for is what negative means in this particular field.
Law, Physics, Photography, Logic, Biology, and Electricity are still some of the many fields of knowledge where the concepts of the conflicts of positivity and negativity are observable. Most importantly, these conflicts between the two are to be discussed thoroughly under the field of cognitive science – the clash between positive and negative thoughts.
As what we have mentioned earlier, our mind is boundless when it comes to generating thoughts. It produces every idea we need. Comparing it to a search engine in the internet, when we wish to find answers to a certain problem, it will make a list of all solutions, regardless if it’s possible or impossible, and acceptable or unacceptable. This is where the clash begins. It’s as if the positive thought Yes, I can and the negative thought No, I can’t will compete with each other to see who will win the fight in which it will be declared the winner. The prize would then have to be that that thought shall be taken into action. Let us take into consideration the diagram below to see the clash of the two opposing thoughts clearly.
NO, I Can’t
Else YES, I Can
Given the problem can you ace the math exam you’ll be taking tomorrow, the mind works by hypothetically answering the question. Obviously, there are only two possible answers: Yes, I Can (the positive thought) and No, I Can’t (the negative thought). If, for example, the mind chooses the negative thought and says No, I Can’t, the next thing to do is to just let the person take the exam right away. Pretty easy eh? In fact, it’s much easier than the other alternative. This time, still hypothetically, if the mind chooses the positive response and declares that I Can, it has to let the person do several tasks. Surely, he has to do something to accomplish his goal, right? These tasks include review previous lessons, reading, and practicing through exercises. He has to perform all of these again and again until he perfects his exercises in order to ace the exam. Until only then can he take the exam.
Comparing the tasks that the person would have to go through when he chooses any of the possible solutions for the problem, the positive thought would have to let him undergo in a more complex situation than the negative thought. This is what the person would have to measure intensively. Will he go with the thought that he can not ace the exam but without experiencing the hassle of studying and all, or with the thought that he can ace the exam but will have to go through all necessary preparations? How about you? What does your mind say? That is practically the conflict between the positive and negative thoughts happening in our minds that we should try to resolve.
Putting everything into action is the only way to know which thought has won the clash. If, still related to the above problem, the person did nothing until the day he takes the exam, then it is clear that the negative thought convinced him not to study anymore since he won’t really be able to ace the exam. On the other hand, if he was seen reviewing, reading, and solving exercises prior on his exam day, then the positive thought induced him that he can ace the exam; that’s why, he made the extra effort to achieve his goal.
It is from here that we may conclude that how we act and behave are results of how we think. It is evident through our actions what kind of thoughts in our mind are we carrying out in dealing with our everyday life. If there is something to work on, it is not our actions, but our thoughts which create actions.
The Mind as an Empowering Agent
The Mind as an Empowering Agent
Be the master of your mind rather than mastered by your mind.
- Zen Saying
As how we have introduced the book, man, if compared to superheroes like Superman and the X-men, is somehow similar to them in terms of possession of power. Yes, you’ve read that right. Man, like you and me, has a power. If these superheroes have supernatural powers that give them the ability to fly, to climb buildings and walls, to become invisible, to produce fire and ice, and to have special physical strength, we human beings, on the other hand, have the ability to mold our personality, to shape our future, and to create our own destiny. And all these are due to the power we possess – the power of the mind.
The power we humans possess can never be compared to any supernatural powers these superheroes use. After all, they are not real, ours is. Some agent in our body is responsible for giving us this power that makes us more hero than they do, an empowering agent, and this is our mind. It is our mind that gives us authority and superiority, confidence and self-esteem, and inspiration and guidance over ourselves and others. This is how the mind works. This is how the mind empowers.
What is empowerment, by the way? I used to believe that empowerment is simply giving power or authority to somebody that not anyone can possess until I’ve read this book entitled Empowerment Takes More than a Minute. It is about Marvin, a president and CEO of a midsize, once-successful company. I found the story to be really inspiring and motivating that I’d like to share it with you. It will give us a clearer insight on what empowerment really is and, like me, it might also change your view on it.
For some time now, Marvin had been thinking of his problems on the company he was working at, or for that matter, he was managing. What he failed to see was the company also has its problems on him – that he is turning out to be an ineffective leader. He had taken over leadership there for over a year already, or should I say, for over a year only, and yet his effectiveness as a leader is already not enough for the maintenance, if not progress, of the company. But, at least, in all fairness to him, he cared enough to reflect on the matters that might lead to the company’s failure. Again, only it was hard for him to accept the fact that change should start on him before the rest of the company changes.
This made him ponder for quite a while. And then he came up with a solution, one that would make them leaner and meaner, one that he ‘thought’ was helpful – empowerment. And since he believed that everyone needs to be empowered, he made them, not certain if it was at all for the best of the company. Well, for nine months, it seems that it was not even close to being good; especially that empowerment was merely a word to those supposed-to-be-empowered, and nothing more.
Desperate, he sought help from Sandy, the so-called "Empowering Manager." At first he was hesitant because he found out that what he once thought as a "he" is really a "she." It’s as if his self-esteem decreased since he was asking for a help from a lady. But eventually, he had accepted the truth that he really needed advice. The conversation went through and the most interesting part was how Sandy defined empowerment:
With such clear and motivating points of view, Sandy was able to change the attitude of Marvin towards managing his company and being able to compete once again. Well, actually, it was not only Marvin that was moved with Sandy’s discussion. There was also me.
Although the story was basically focused on managing and leadership, what we can relate to is what empowerment really is and how it works. But then again, mind power is really about managing ourselves until we can lead others, isn’t it? Therefore, restating what the Empowerment Manager said, all of us have already that power inside of us. What the mind does is empowering us by releasing that power and letting us use it in appropriate measures.
It was also discussed earlier in the book that the mind generates two kinds of thoughts: positive and negative thoughts. If our mind is full of positive ideas on dealing with everyday life, our way of thinking also becomes positive. Likewise, if we let negative ideas to rule our lives, then we may suffer from negative thinking. Both of these kinds of thinking have power over us. It’s now up to us which thinking we choose to empower us, since both will shape our future and create our destiny; only, bringing different results. Now, which do you prefer?
And, oh, before that, how do you see your glass of water, half-full or half-empty? Go on and find out what your answer means.
Power of Positive Thinking
(The Glass is Half-Full)
Although you can see that the glass is half-empty, you chose to see it in a positive way. It is still half-full, anyway. The absence of half of the volume of water didn’t even bother you. What mattered was that it still contains water. If this is how you answered the question above and how you justified your answer, then you have a positive way of thinking.
Positive thinking is a way of looking at the brighter side of life. Everything is good, beautiful, and light. There are no worries, problems, or fears. In short, all you see and believe in is, well, positive. I guess that’s already the most suitable word in describing this way of thinking, which is why it is the term being used.
This kind of thinking is very powerful in that if you think that you are going to pass an exam, you are going to pass; if you think that you’ll get noticed by your crush, you’ll get noticed; if you think you will get promoted at work, then you’ll get promoted. This is how powerful the mind is, particularly positive mind. Even the famous Clint Eastwood believes in this general truth that he quoted, "If you think it’s going to rain, it will."
So, how does the power of positive thinking works? How can it create reality? Do we only have to think of positive things and then will it happen right away? That positive thinking really is powerful may be somehow hard to believe at first, that’s why we may ask certain questions like those above. Because the mind is working on the information you send it, positive thinking leads to positive reality. This is how it works. Yes, we do have to really think of positive things. But it doesn’t stop there. Remember the ever-famous cliché "Do your best and God will do the rest"? You know, it’s true. Aside from believing in and having faith in something we want to happen, we have to do something about it. You can’t ace an exam just by sitting on the couch and watching TV days before taking it, can you?
Let us take into account again the computer as a metaphor of the human mind. The mind is like a computer, this time due to the fact that we can program it with certain functions and tasks. Sometimes, it even acts as our autopilot. For instance, we use it when we drive and talk on a mobile phone at the same time. Therefore, we can program it with whatever we want to happen. Say, for example, you want to be attractive. Thus, you say to yourself "I can be beautiful, healthy and slim." But for this positive thinking to work, you can’t just leave it at that. You still need to do something. You need the right self-programming: "I can be beautiful, healthy, and slim if… (a) I’ll take enough rest every night; (b) I’ll eat proper balance diet; (c) I’ll do exercises; (d) I’ll brush my teeth every after meal; etc." And if all these thoughts sink into your system, you’ll see that they wouldn’t be far from happening. Mind power implies will power. With positive thinking, one does not stop with I can or I am. There will always be an I will after it in which it will cause the realization of his aspirations.
Positive thinking is a powerful tool that helps us build the life we want. It can make us beautiful and smart. It can get us the dream job with the excellent salary we always dreamed of. It can help us find our one true love. But we have to use them properly and we have to continue working with them regularly - to the point where it becomes such a habit that we ought to say them all the time. Isn’t it better maintaining such thoughts than keeping worthless ideas inside our head – the stuff we keep thinking about but doesn't really help us accomplish anything and, in many cases, may actually push us backwards?
We should also understand that some affirmations take some time to take effect. It really depends on where we are and what we want to accomplish. For example, if you're unemployed yet want to be a millionaire, well, in reality, it will take quite some time. You have to get a job first, and from there, start making the big money and earn the millions you want. Successes usually not happen overnight. So the first step is to focus on how we can accomplish our goal. If we are on the right place, plus we possess the right attitude, then it won’t be too far. Some additional thoughts in my blog post http://blog.prosperyourmind.com/?p=48
Power of Negative Thinking
(The Glass is Half-Empty)
Some of the water spilled. Someone drank on my glass of water. Or there isn’t enough water on the pitcher to fill the glass. Whichever reason, still my glass is half-empty! It may not be enough for me. It may not quench my thirst fully. And darn that person who drank some of my water!
Geez… Is this how you react to a glass of water which is half-filled, or in this case, half-emptied? If you are, your mind is full of negative thoughts. You even cursed a person who drank some of the water in your glass which you are not even sure of. You are filled with opinions that something bad has happened to the water. What’s worse is, they are not even proven to be true and yet you believe them.
Negative thinking, the exact opposite of positive one, is a way of looking at, not necessarily the bad, but definitely not the good things in life. Everything that has happened is due to some undesirable cause. Or if something is not yet happening, you think of something bad that might take place. Your mind is full of worries, fears, discomforts, and you keep asking questions with what if’s.
This kind of thinking is also powerful. It is generated by the mind isn’t it? And the mind is empowering, right? Therefore, negative thinking has its own power. Yes, the same power as positive thinking – power to mold our personality, power to shape our future, and power to create our destiny. The only difference is the outcome it will bring about. So, if positive thinking brings positive reality, does negative thinking bring about negative reality? Do you think so? Well, let’s see.
Negative thoughts, as how we have described in an earlier chapter, are due to mistakes, unpleasant incidents, embarrassing moments, and wrong decisions that have been experienced by the individual. Similar to planting seeds, these unlikable ideas were buried deep in his minds. As they grow and flourish, they remain hindrances in his ability to be someone and to do something. This is where his fears start to develop, slowly take over his strengths – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual – and eventually, remove his self-confidence and trust in himself. Then, from here, it wouldn’t be far until he starts saying the words that would destroy his dreams, I can’t, and worse, acting the unwillingness it implies, I won’t.
Usually, we prefer to stay in a place where everything is safe and secure and where dangers are low and minimal. For instance, one may avoid joining competitions because he knows he can’t win. Or instead of courting a gorgeous girl, one settles to be with someone not so pretty because he knows he can’t win over the prettier girl. But this is also where we realize the vastness of our limitations. Because of this, we can conclude that we have already lost even before we begin, and we already failed even before we tried. What we don’t usually know is that the greatest failure in life is not losing, but not trying at all. After all, who knows? No one can really say what could happen in the competition or with that gorgeous girl until he tried, right?
This is the power of negative thinking. It makes one unattractive because he believes that he can’t be good-looking. It gives one an awful future because he believes that he can’t find a job and earn enough money. It lets one stay single and alone because he believes that he can’t win friends or find true love. And because he can’t, he won’t. Remember? Mind power implies will power. And since the mind power is negative, the will power is reluctant.
Funny how ignorance sometimes can be blessings in disguise because it becomes a way for someone to keep on trying. There are instances where people say, "I really don’t understand the question. So, I just guessed my answers," or "I know I’m not good at speeches so I wrote what I have to say and will just read it in front." Because of simple and little ways of attempts, we can say that these people are more superior and will likely succeed farther than those who don’t try at all.
Training the Mind
Training the Mind
Change of diet will not help a person who will not change his thoughts.
When a person makes his thoughts pure, he no longer desires impure food.
- As a Man Thinketh
In the previous chapters, we have learned how powerful the mind is, including both the positive and negative way of thinking. We have found out their similarity – that they both have the ability to construct reality in our lives – and their differences – that positive thinking creates positive reality, while negative thinking creates negative reality. These ways of thinking are continuously fighting over a significant position in the mind, in which the one who will succeed will be taken into action by the individual. Therefore, positive thinkers deal with life’s challenges confidently and are more likely to attain success than negative thinkers since they look at everything unconstructively.
Comparing the two kinds of thinking, obviously, what we would prefer more is to possess the positive power of thinking so that we may create a certain and stable destiny. Of course, nobody wishes for life’s bitterness. We all want our happy endings, don’t we? But whether we like it or not, our minds keep on generating all sorts of thoughts, even those that may cause our failure in the end. We can never stop nor avoid these unhealthy thinking. But don’t worry. It is not yet a hopeless case. What we can do is to train our minds to focus on the good things rather than the bad, the happy moments rather than the sad, on what we have rather than what we don’t have.
Life is full of surprises and exciting moments that by simply looking at them, we miss ourselves. We are so busy doing unremarkable stuffs out there – in the mirror, on the phone, on the PC, in front of the TV and radio, overtaking, adventuring, and endlessly seeking power and status. This is when car racers feel alive and excited – when they are in a near death opportunity! Imagine that. Actually, that is when we also feel enthusiastic – with adrenalin-pumping, hair-raising, goosebumps-appearing incidents or when one is over excited, can show off, and risks fearful flights – that we cannot see what’s real in our lives. We make mistakes. We miss turnings. We lose or forget things. And this is all because we lose reign of our senses. Only when there are accidents, car crash, a thump on the head, a slap in the face, a comment, a synchronized moment, a glance from a beautiful person, song of a sweet bird, the rising or setting of the sun, a shooting star, or the rhythm of the waves do we stop for a second and appreciate and reflect these things with our minds. Time seems to slow down in moments of awe, devotion, speechlessness, and high spirits. We become aware of beautiful, fresh, sweet, shining, and glowing moments that only at these times are we awake, truly alive, and with a calm and serene mind. You'll find some useful information in this post on my blog http://blog.prosperyourmind.com/?p=51
They say that we will never really know what we have until it’s gone. So, shall we wait for some things to disappear before we appreciate them? Not exactly. In fact, the mind can and should be trained to focus on the brighter things in life, no matter how little or uninteresting they are, so that negative thoughts shall not succeed in creating an undesirable future for us. Nothing is really late for changes. Here are some ways of training the mind on positive thinking:
Mind Power Implies Will Power
Mind Power Implies Will Power
Thinking is the desire to gain reality by means of ideas.
Spanish writer and philosopher
Another amazing power of the mind is that it triggers our body to do what it says. That is why, with the right power of the mind, it becomes easy to achieve what we want. If we wish to ace an exam, get noticed by the professor, or lose weight in a couple of weeks, and we think that it can really happen, our mind will activate some power in our body to be responsible in making things happen – our will power.
This power is the actual process of converting our thoughts into reality. So, if we wish to ace and actually believe in acing an exam, our act of studying and preparing for such exam is caused by our will power that was triggered by the mind. Also, if we believe that the professor will notice us, our acts of preparing ourselves and perhaps reciting in class are what our mind tells us and what the will power does. Or in other cases, if we want to lose weight, our acts of engaging in different kinds of exercises and eating a well-balanced diet are due to the will power that is governed by the mind.
Below are some individual’s mind-powered attitudes towards situations that are commonly difficult in dealing with. What only lacks now is his will power in order to make these I Can's into I Will's.
I Can Look Good, Feel Good, and Be Good
True beauty can not be seen only in the outside appearance of an individual, but in the inside, as well. It is an innate quality, a way of being, a manner of acting. A common misunderstanding in this concept is that it refers to the perfection of the physical characteristics only. Where, in fact, to achieve balanced beauty, the inner and the outer features of an individual must blend together in such a way that it is bounded by love, happiness, social grace, and self-expression through all bodily movements.
Observe the people around you. Even without seeing them, I know that all of them are beautiful and I can justify my observation. Some of them are physically attractive – slim, fair complexion, with long shiny hair, with nice smile – that makes other people go for a second look. Others have wonderful personalities – cheerful, animated and fun to be with. Still others are intellectually gifted – performs good in English, Math, Science or any academic subjects. Lastly, there are those who are talented with different skills like playing musical instruments, acting on stage, etc. The people who possess any or combinations of these are considered beautiful in one way or another. But for someone to be believed as truly beautiful, he/she must possess all of these qualities. Think of it as a diamond which must be cut with many facets in order to sparkle properly. Each facet should be proportioned in such a way that complete beauty shines forth.
Achieving true beauty is not as hard as it may seem. As a matter of fact, to think beautiful is to be beautiful. That’s right! All you need is the proper attitude towards believing how good you look and feel, and it will eventually show that you are, indeed. The seeds of beauty are one of the most precious seeds of thought you can plant and cultivate in your mind. Just by thinking and saying, "I look good," you sowed the seeds. After sowing these seeds, cultivation must begin. Cultivation is comprised of the responsibility and the commitment on your part to make beauty a reality in your life. This takes time and work, especially that it needs to work on all the aspects of your being – physical, emotional, mental, and aesthetic. Cultivating the thought, "I look good" requires self-analysis, goal-setting, discipline, dedication, and patience until you can finally say, "I feel good. I am good."
What is essential in achieving good looks, feelings, and vibrations is to love yourself above everything else. Respect and love for your unique self and an understanding of your nature are the first steps in building respect, love and understanding to others. Only when you feel good about yourself will you begin to like and love yourself. And only when you begin to love yourself will you become a vital and interesting person for others to see. The secret is to develop a friendly relationship with yourself. If you would not want yourself as a friend, who would want to?
It’s really not that difficult, is it? So, go on. Tell yourself and other people that "I can look good, feel good, and be good. Therefore, I will."
I Can Make Many Friends
What is a friend, by the way? I may not know how you define it but I guess I would just have to agree with Jazz singer Billie Holiday on how she viewed the idea. "If I don’t have friends, then I ain’t got nothin’." A true friend is your ally, your teacher, and your sibling – only with different parents. He shall believe in everything you do, stay with you no matter what it takes, lift your spirits high and never let you down, and trust you with any secret he knows you won’t hold against him. True friends are real treasures. Having many of them means being rich and wealthy of love, respect, and understanding.
Making many new friends starts with meeting new people. And meeting new people involves wise building of attitude and relationship among them to eventually establish a good rapport. Let me ask you this: Have you ever gone out on a party or an event where you felt you were left out because there is no one to talk to? And you even fear that when you approach someone, you might just be ignored? Actually, this is a common problem for many in meeting new people. But the truth is, this can also be the stepping stone in gaining many new friends.
So, what does it take to make many friends? The truth is, making friends takes a lot of time, effort, and energy. Most people are too occupied in doing something "more" important that they consider meeting new people and hanging out with them one of their least priorities. Others require mutual trust but find it hard to give or accept. Thus, for these kinds of people, friendship is something that is of no value. Geez…They are missing a lot from their lives.
Making and keeping friends rests on four key principles: taking initiative to reach out to others, showing genuine interest to people, treating others with respect and kindness, and valuing people as much as you value yourself. Though these actions may really take your time and effort, you’ll realize at the end that everything is worth it. Friends are more valuable than any other material thing in the world. They will just all come and go, but true friends will never leave you behind.
So, take some time to think this over. After which, you can believe that, "I can make many friends. Therefore, I will."
I Can Find True Love
They say that you’ll never know when you’re in love…You’ll only feel it. Indeed, love is quite a strong feeling. It is a special bond between two people mutually attracted to one another, not just physically, but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, as well. Many believe in the concept of soul mates – that there is one single person in this world meant for each one of us. Others trust in signs and signals that say one is destined to be with another, or what they call destiny; while, some are just certain of falling in love and taking effort in establishing a relationship. Whatever idea of love we believe in, I’m sure that each one of us hopes to find that one true love we are meant, destined, or intended for us because love, like friendship, is also a precious treasure to have. For me, I believe that Arni (my wife) is my soul mate.
No matter how sweet love can be, how it brings brightness and color in our lives, or how it makes us strong and inspired through everyday, there are those who don’t accept love, or at least had given up in the search for it. It’s not that they don’t believe in its existence, but there are some factors that make them believe that they may never find true love…ever.
This is when negative thoughts take place again: I am not beautiful. No one will love me; I have braces. No one will want to kiss me; I am not rich. No one will agree to go out with me. How sad can the people who think this way be? And if you are one of them, I’m telling you now, if you still want to find true love, you have to change the way you think.
You should bear in mind that true love is not just about appreciating the physical aspect of an individual, but also accepting his inner personality. For the purpose of simplicity, let’s use the male version. Loving him means loving all of him – not just his strengths, but also his weaknesses; not just his perfections, but also his flaws; not just his rightness, but also his mistakes. Therefore, if someone you love makes you feel inferior, stop it. He is not worthy of your love in any way. Because if he loves you back, no matter how you look, how you act, or what you believe in, he will accept you for who you are. That’s how true love works – accepting and understanding. Nobody has the right to make you feel inferior in any way, including yourself and the one you love.
The first and easiest way to make someone love you truly is to love yourself before anyone else. Determine who you are. Know yourself better. Accept your flaws and weaknesses. And when you feel confident enough about yourself, it wouldn’t be hard to find someone who will notice you and see you in a different way. Most people feel attracted to someone who can be himself/herself at any particular moment with any companion.
After doing your part in being yourself, you may now set probable standards of the person you are looking for – someone you want to spend most of your time with. With the number of people you meet everyday, get to them one by one. Spend some time with them. Eventually, you’ll find out that one of them may suit the qualities you are looking for in a person. Befriend him/her. Love that starts with friendship is stronger than any sudden relationship. Love, too, shall take time, patience, and the right attitude to work well, especially when you meet a few wrong people or the right people at the wrong time. After all, true love is worth all the pain and heartaches in the end.
You know what to say. "I can find true love. Therefore, I will."
I Can Reach my Goals in Life
Success can not be attained overnight. But, still, it can be attained. Funny how people can be so impatient most of the times. Just observe students in the middle of their school life. Instead of being excited that they’ll soon finish education, they would complain of getting bored and wanting to stop schooling for work or, worse, play. Employees and office people, by the time they think they have earned enough money for their family, would plan leaving work to just stay in the house. With these kinds of thinking and attitude, how would one expect to reach his goals in life?
Life is too precious to waste living it without a plan or goal. It is too short not living it to the fullest, as they say. Okay, okay. Say, you have a goal, a dream, a wish you want to fulfill. You’d ask, is that enough? The answer would be yes, as long as you have the assertiveness to reach it. Hey, it wouldn’t be called a goal unless you have no plans of achieving it, right? Otherwise, having a goal without the will to make it into reality is not enough.
Another problem regarding this matter is that people do have a goal but just don’t have what it takes to achieve it, or so they thought. Again, they become blinded by the negativity of their minds. Money, socio-economic status, race, age, gender – these are just a few factors that hinder individuals to think that they have what it takes to attain success that everyone has been dreaming of. So what if you don’t earn a lot of money? Will that be reason enough for you not to attend school or find a job? How about if you are not among the authorities in your society? Or you’re of a different race? Or you’re still young? Or you’re a female? Should they even be considered reasons to discourage you in turning your dreams into reality? I don’t think so. It is only your mind that says so. Hence, fight it.
What you can do is put your mind into something you want to happen. Say, you want to be a writer. Therefore, think as a writer, feel as a writer, and be a writer. Practice. Read a lot. Grab all opportunities that would make you a writer. Like everything else that we wish to happen, in reaching for a goal, we should make sacrifices – time, effort, responsibilities, etc. After all, success does not come overnight. But eventually, it will.
And before anything else, believe that "I can reach my goals in life. Therefore, I will."
Finally, I Can Be Recognized
Man’s esteem needs, or his necessities to gain approval and recognition, is one of his basic needs, 4th in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to be exact. Since there is no one in this world who we can consider perfect, we are struggling so much and exerting a lot of effort to be somebody close enough to being perfect. We make ourselves look good, gain more friends, find true love, and achieve high goals. And it all comes down to the fact that we want to be recognized. Well, I do. Do you? If so, the question is can you?
Just imagine how good the feeling would be if you are being recognized not just by the people close to you, but even others you don’t personally know. It’s as if you feel superior, better than others, and loved by all. Who doesn’t want this kind of attention?
But, this desire is no different than the previous 4 situations we have discussed earlier. This, too, takes a lot of time, effort, energy, and responsibility from the individual, or more. After all, this is the end result of the combinations of the other 4. But with the right focus and attitude given to this, it wouldn’t be a long time to achieve such desire.
Be confident. Stand up for yourself. Reach out to others. Learn to love and be loved back. Respect others as much as you respect yourself. Love your work. Do your best in every task you engage in. Don’t forget to look back. Be thankful. And above all, pray. Remember, life is too short and precious to waste it with useless thoughts and actions. Live everyday as if it’s the last – another way of saying live your life to the fullest. Until everyone notices that you are someone who can reach the sky with your feet on the ground and can move mountains through the faith you possess, then they will enthusiastically recognized you.
It all starts with "I can be recognized. Therefore, I will be."
Mind Facts, Insights, and Truths
Mind Facts, Insights, and Truths
Here are some facts, insights, and truths about the mind, its processes, and its power I have gathered from different resources. Like me, you might not even hear some of them until now. Enjoy!