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Table of Contents:
Warm Up Review of key ideas from the last issue Star Stuff Our Human Brain Build your own brain pathways using affirmations Daily morning motivation Some of my favorite personal morning affirmations Gulp of Air Review of key ideas 10,000 days From the Publisher
Well, hello again! Here we are starting a brand new year. Some people challenge themselves to do things differently this year. It is unfortunate that others scoff at those who made New Year's Resolutions. I personally think the scoffers realize they are not very good at keeping promises to themselves so they want to put down anybody else who even tries. Sort of like "I can't win, so I will make it so you can't win either" isn't? Negative thinking. That's all it is. But not here. In this newsletter we can take a break from the negative thinkers and go on about our business of making this the best life we can. So if you want to make some valuable New Year's Resolutions, go right ahead! I believe that setting some goals for yourself is one giant step in the right direction.Review of last issue
We talked about why we lose motivation: the negative environment we live in. We reviewed why so many of us lose our motivation: exposure to 140,000 personal negative messages and only 20,000 personal positive messages by the time we leave high school. We learned the path to success: follow the winners and avoid the losers. We learned the value of getting No.1's act together better and of becoming a giver instead of a taker. We also learned the value of focusing on surrounding ourselves with people who affirm us and avoiding people who can't see it for themselves and therefore won't see it for you. "You tend to become like the people and ideas you hang around with." - Victory Crayne We saw that learning how to motivate ourselves is more important than any other course we have taken in school. And that our ignorance is what holds us back from achieving so much of our potential. With a simple story, we learned why we possess the power to gain a $10,000 solution to our problems. To help us in improving our motivation in the future, we discussed keeping a 'motivation notebook', full of the exciting ideas that turn us on and meet our individual needs. Looking toward the future, we now can see the value of writing our own private 'future history'. I promised you that I would give to you many powerful 'mental tools' that you can use on your own to motivate yourself to better performance than ever before. In this issue we will learn how our physical brains, that lump of gray matter between our ears, can be programmed physically, by changing the pathways of connections between the neurons, to make your brain do more of what you want it to do. To start, we need to learn how our brain was built.
Did you know that your body is made up of atoms that once resided inside another star? Billions of years ago, deep in the center of a star far away, atoms were mashed, merged, and split apart in nuclear fires. That gigantic star eventually collapsed upon itself and the internal temperature soared, causing a spectacular explosion, flooding nearby parts of the galaxy with stunning light. A huge amount of the star's matter was hurled far out into space, forming a cloud around the star. Eventually the large and expanding dust cloud filled the space between nearby stars. Billions of years later and just 3 to 4 billion years ago, some of that matter gathered together with dust from other stars and collected into a ball. The star we now call Sol, our sun, was born. Some of the material that did not get trapped into our sun collected into smaller balls and became the planets. A tiny fraction of all that dust, maybe only three or four percent, condensed to become the third planet from Sol, the Earth. Millions of years later, some of the atoms on Earth formed themselves into complex molecules that could replicate themselves. Life began on earth. Again, millions of years later, billions of such molecules formed in such a very complex way that they began to think. Humans were created. Today, one collection of those atoms, with a rich inheritance from a previous star, has a name. Your name. YOU are made of 'star stuff'.
Our Human Brain
Part of that wonderful star stuff is your brain. And what a magnificent brain you started with when you were born! Our human nervous system contains about 28 billion nerve cells, called neurons. Every one of tiny neurons is like a self-contained computer capable of processing about one million bits of information. All told, the two and one-half pounds of gray matter each of us has between our ears is capable of processing up to 30 billion bits of information every second. To do this, it uses a little oxygen and a little glucose from our blood. The neurons in our brain also communicate with each other through an amazing network of 100,000 miles of nerve fibers -- that's enough to go around the Earth four times! But unlike an electronic computer, like the one you may have on your desk which must work by making only one connection at a time, in our brains a reaction in one neuron can spread to hundreds of thousands of other neurons in less than one- fiftieth of a second. To give you perspective, it could do that ten times while you blink your eye! Each of us has at our disposal the most incredible computer on Earth -- but unfortunately no one gave us an owner's manual! Every time you think a given thought, or experience a feeling, or sense something with your eyes or ears, like you are doing right now, impulses race down different pathways within your marvelous brain. I mention this because all the old reactions you had to what you experienced, all your old feelings, some of low self esteem, or shame at your appearance, or lack of self confidence, all the experiences you've had since the day you were born, produced physical changes in your brain. A pathway was created between synapses in your brain. The more you indulge in any pattern of behavior the stronger that physical pattern becomes. The more you are told negative things, or tell yourself negative things, the more those pathways are used and the stronger they become. That is also why, when you attend a motivational seminar, or listen to just one tape for just one time, even though you feel good for awhile, you find that it just does not last. The next day, your old programming in your brain dominates and you find it easier to believe as you did before, instead of believing in the new and exciting thoughts. You have to send messages down those new paths in your brain strongly enough and do it enough times, so that the new way of reacting becomes reinforced. But there is some good news in all this too. As you practice new thoughts and send messages down the new pathways in your brain and as you stop indulging in the old behavior or emotion long enough, the old neural connections will weaken and atrophy. Thus any undesired emotional pattern or behavior disappears gradually with it. You can influence just how fast you 'learn' new ideas and beliefs by using more emotion when you practice your new way of thinking and reacting. And the more of your senses you can involve in the experience, the stronger is the reinforcement. Helping you develop new and stronger neuron pathways in your brain is the main reason why I suggest you use affirmations and repeat them daily. Affirmations are a proven and powerful technique of reinforcing reactions and beliefs, and thereby reinforce neuronic pathways in the brain. You see, you must change the physical structure of your own brain.Build your own brain pathways using affirmations
"The trouble with life is, you're halfway through it before you realize it's a do-it-yourself thing." - Unknown Imagine if you had started out life with different parents, a different environment, different school, etc. Now imagine how you would be today if instead of 140,000 negative personal messages and only 20,000 positive personal messages that the average person receives by age 21, you had received 140,000 encouraging, supportive personal messages and only 20,000 negative ones. What do you think would be different in your life from age 21 on? With a high level of self respect and self confidence, would you have tried for higher goals? Would you have smiled more? Would you have been more loving and giving to your own children and your friends? But, alas, what's done is done. Try as you might to want a better start in life, you are already well on your way and the clock cannot be turned back. But wait! All is not lost! You CAN repair some of the damage done to your physical brain by deliberately reprogramming your brain. One very powerful tool for this is affirmations. By telling yourself the positive messages that you missed in your childhood, you can start to build newer and stronger pathways in your physical brain. Say these words to yourself, silently if you wish, and see what happens to your feelings. "I am a loving, caring person who deserves love in return." "I am a really terrific person!" "I always have options. I create and choose options as I need them to make my life beautiful and productive." "I have tons of self-confidence. I can do anything!" What do you feel after saying things like that to yourself? Do you feel better? Of course you do. Now imagine how you would have felt if your parents had said things like this to you every day of your childhood. "Wow! You are just terrific!" "You can do ANYTHING you really want to, as long as you don't hurt others." "Why, with your intelligence, you could figure out any problem!" "We are with you all the way!" and the one we never seemed to have gotten enough of: "I love you." Don't you think it is about time you got these messages, even if you have to give them to yourself?
Daily morning motivation
Let's take a look at another tool for gaining permanent motivation. I have interviewed a great many highly motivated people in my life. Almost all of them tell me they start every day with the deliberate act of trying to motivate themselves. They don't wait until they feel unmotivated and then try to correct it. They realize that the world around them will try to bombard them with negative messages all day. They know from experience that the best way to deal with each day's challenges (otherwise cleverly disguised as problems) is to deliberately start each day with a period of positive motivation. They do this within the first 20 to 30 minutes after waking. And they have found they must immerse themselves in this deliberate positive motivation for a long enough period of time to imprint on your emotions. Five minutes is just not enough time. Fifteen to thirty minutes works best. They do this by listening to a motivational tape, or reading a chapter in a motivational or self help book, or going through their private motivational exercises. When you use the powerful new habit, you will find yourself starting each day much better off. You also get the chance to put some new ideas into your mind, and over time these morning periods will become one of your most cherished moments. It takes about three to six weeks, of repeated and conscientious effort, to reinforce the new pathways in your physical brain, while at the same time you ignore the old pathways, to make the new ways of reacting permanent. And don't worry if you start such a wonderful program and it is interrupted, say by a vacation where you get thrown out of your regular habit of morning motivational time. When you get back home and start it again, you will be amazed at how easy it is to get on a positive roll again. Already your new brain pathways will be helping you get up to speed more quickly.
Some of my favorite personal morning affirmations
I have printed onto 4x6 cards some of my favorite self-talk which I place on my desk and then read to myself first then in the morning. Here are some of them. If you'd like to use some of them, be my guest. "I have the most Positive, Powerful and Productive attitude today!" [This is my favorite.] "I always have options. I create and choose options as I need them to make my life beautiful and productive. "Attention is all there is. What I pay attention to is what I do. "I create my own Reality. I am making the kind of reality I want to come true! "I do things by priority, and I follow my schedules. "I meet my Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Goals. "I do the Next Most Important Thing BEFORE I spend time organizing." [Guess what one of my personal problems is?] "Whatever I positively program my mind within the first 2 minutes of the day can lead to GREAT POWER all day!" [This is oh so true for me.] "I have tons of self-confidence, which enables me to overcome the limitations imposed on me by others and by myself! "The most powerful force I have is what I say to myself and believe. That's how I create my reality. I am careful to say only great and positive ideas to myself, all day." Can you better understand now why I am always so upbeat? Don't you wish you could be upbeat all the time too? Using your own personal affirmations is one way.Gulp of Air
In every issue I try to put a little story to help entertain you as well as make a point very clear. Here is one of my favorites, a story from Plato, the philosopher of old Greece. A young man found out that one of the richest men in all the land lived in his town. So he decided to visit the rich man. As he came up to the front of the man's home, he could not help but marvel at the wealth and beauty he saw. Summing up his courage, he knocked on door and much to his surprise, the old man himself answered the door. The young man was a bit nervous and managed to stammer out "Sir, I understand you are one of the richest men in the world." The old man acknowledged the fact. The young man then went on to ask "I would like to ask you the secret to your success." With a smile on his face, the old man replied, "I will not only tell you, son, but I will show you" and invited him in. With great joy in his heart, the young man stepped into the elegant home. The old gent walked all the way through the house, with the younger one close behind, in awe at all the wealth he saw. He got a chance to see the happy family who lived there. Soon they went out the back door and through the garden. The old gent led the way down to the beach and then waded into the ocean water. Soon they were up to their ankles in water, then up to their knees, their waist, and finally the old man stopped when they were in up to their shoulders. The younger man was a bit nervous, because he was not too good a swimmer! The old man then placed his hands on the head of the younger and pushed him under the water. And held him there for 10 seconds, 20 second, a half minute. The young man was rapidly running out of air! Then finally after a full minute, he could stand it no more! He shook free of the hands on his head and burst through the surface of the water and gulped some air! He turned to the old man and yelled "What were you trying to do, DROWN ME?" The old man just smiled and replied "When you want success as much as you wanted that gulp of air, THEN you will be successful!" How hard do you try to get success in your life?
Review of key ideas
We have covered a lot of ground in this issue, as usual. We learned how every atom in your body came from another star, far away. YOU are indeed made of 'star stuff'. We discussed how wonderful your human brain is and how it forms pathways from your experiences. Even though you could not control how many of the physical pathways in your brain were made from negative past experiences, we saw how using affirmations can have a marvelous effect on building new and improved pathways. We learned how the deliberate daily morning programming of your brain and moods can help you lead a very motivated life. I even gave you some examples of my own personally designed affirmations. We will discuss the best way to design your own personal affirmations in the next issue. Next came an interesting story from ancient Greece on the value of motivation in achieving success. The old man just smiled and replied "When you want success as much as you wanted that gulp of air, THEN you will be successful!" Now let me leave you with one more positive thought.10,000 Days, One at a Time
10,000 Days, One at a Time Don't take life for granted. You know, you've waited all your life for this day! Never before have you had the opportunity to enjoy [insert today's date here]. Every 27 years, 4 months, and 18 days, you have completed another 10,000 days of your life. At current estimates of our life expectancy, how many total days do you have left? Another 10,000? 20,000? 5,000? Whatever the number, don't you think it is time you started cherishing them -- one by one? To take each day for granted could be one of our biggest mistakes. Toward the end of your life, you will learn to appreciate the opportunity to live each day as a separate moment of wonderful life. And this day you have 24 hours -- only 1,440 minutes -- to enjoy yourself. I hope you are not wasting them in negative thinking. Once you spend a minute of life, it is gone forever. Really gone. Fini. Das Ende. Never more. A dead issue. You have the opportunity to make this day whatever you wish. Will you make it a time you will smile at when it is time to go to sleep? Or will you drag your butt into bed feeling bad? The choice is yours. Remember: It is never good or bad out there! [point to the world]. It is only good or bad in here! [point to your skull]. Myself, I chose to make each day a wonderful new opportunity and to spread a little joy into other people's lives. Oh yes, I do have to earn a living and I do work hard at it. I'm just an intense kind of person. [You knew that already, didn't you?] Like you, there are some days when I have lots of stress to deal with, for sure. And one lesson of life I have learned along the way is to start each day with a BANG! If I am going somewhere in my car, I play very lively, upbeat music on my tape player to get my blood stirring and get ready for the next few hours of my life. Here is what one of my friends observed. "I used to do a group exercise program with my students before school. Loud music, me singing along with it. Eventually the students singing along too, even if they didn't know the words. The teachers in my building thought I was loony. But the 2 years I did that before-school exercise...were the best 2 years of my career. Teachers did admit that the kids came to class awake. In previous years, they snoozed during the bus ride to school, snoozed between arrival at school and beginning of class. The first half hour of class was spent trying to wake brains up. I highly recommend physical activity early in the morning as another great way to get your day off to the best possible start." - Karen Weber, freelance writer and Physical Therapist. Well said. I get a kick out of being the most lively person in any group wherever I go. Many times I start a conversation with people with "How's this incredible day for you?" [I really do speak that way when I meet people!] Am I crazy? Nope. If someone in this world feels otherwise, I just consider THEM to be crazy. For you see, I really do believe that Life IS an incredibly beautiful experience! In this newsletter you will read a seemingly endless source of upbeat, inspiring ideas. For you have met a professional motivator. It is my intention for you to reach a buzz reading these issues! Won't you stick around with me to enjoy the buzz?Next Issue
In the next issue, I will discuss 'How to design your own personalized affirmations', with specific rules and examples to help you turn yourself on. [No, I don't mean THAT way!]
From the Publisher:
All articles are copyrighted by their authors. It is unlawful to copy or reprint without their permission. This issue is Copyright © Jan 14, 1996 Victory Crayne, California. All rights reserved.
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