...or, if you prefer to read..
Your self-image determines your potential for success in every area of life, from your career to your love life. If you see yourself as inadequate, it frames the level of achievement you will allow yourself to have. Yet, for some reason, we set ourselves up for failure from the very start
Nobody’s perfect - isn't that what we say?
We see ourselves as flawed in nearly every way, always striving to reach some vague state of betterment that would finally make us worthy of esteem and consideration. And ultimately, something that might finally make us worthy of love and happiness.
Perfectionism is the tendency to set high, often unrealistic standards for ourselves and to strive for flawlessness in every aspect of life. Ironically, this very tendency is the thing that gets in the way of us living our best life. Striving for excellence might be positive and motivating, but the resulting perfectionism is detrimental and produces the exact opposite effect. It leads to procrastination because we are afraid of making mistakes or not living up to our own impossibly high standards. It’s precisely because we see ourselves as so inadequate that we may not even allow ourselves to try.
Perfectionism stifles creativity and limits opportunities for growth and innovation. Taking risks and trying new things is the very hallmark of creativity - but you can't do that when you're afraid of making mistakes. So much potential has been lost to perfectionism! It is the cause of so much anxiety and stress. We turn ourselves into wrecks from stress-related illnesses because of our own unrealistic standards for ourselves. The constant worry about not meeting our own and the perceived expectations of others takes a heavy toll on body and mind. It leads to burnout and mental health problems.
Finally, perfectionism ruins relationships. People who are perfectionists tend to be self-critical and harsh on themselves when they make mistakes or fall short of their own expectations. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem, which will, in turn, damage relationships or prevent them from ever forming. Perfectionists tend to hold others to the same high standards they set for themselves, which can lead to unrealistic expectations and strained relationships. In this way, perfectionism is a direct contributor to loneliness. I can’t tell you how often a client has said to me, “I’m not ready for a relationship. Who would want me this way?”
I live part-time in Los Angeles, and it's a very crowded place. When I see all these many people, I am struck by one beautiful thing: not one of them is like any other. As funny-looking as some may appear, each is completely different from anybody else. We never give it much thought, but isn’t it pretty amazing that out of eight billion people, there is not one who is exactly like someone else?
Each of us is an exclusive package made up of strengths and weaknesses. I think it is here that our thinking goes off the rails. We see our weaknesses as flaws, something needing improvement, when in reality, these are merely areas that are not important to our particular purpose. Not everyone has to be good with numbers. Not everyone needs to do everything well. Not everyone needs to write well; not everyone can make great art. Everybody has something that makes them uniquely suited to who they are. The key is to figure out what it is that makes you happiest because that’s likely your highest form of expression, where all your strengths come to bear. When we compare ourselves to others, we’re necessarily comparing apples to oranges. In reality, however, we are quite beyond compare. Against whom would we measure our particular package and why? Each of us is distinctive, inimitable, and matchless. Unique things don’t match up with other unique things – that’s what makes them unique.
So here's my brand-new proposal...
Instead, I am proposing this: What if, instead of seeing ourselves as flawed, imperfect, and in need of repair, we recognize ourselves as absolutely perfect exactly the way we are? What if you looked in the mirror and, instead of criticizing what you saw, you realized it was perfect? It is YOUR standard of perfection, YOUR flawless. Whether you like it or not - those are the cards you're dealt, and you have no choice but to play them. Why tear yourself down? Why put yourself at a disadvantage? What if we celebrated our strengths and uniqueness instead of working against ourselves by focusing on perceived weaknesses? What if we accepted and embraced our unique qualities and our intrinsic perfection - yes, I say PERFECTION!
It can only lead to self-confidence, self-esteem, and overall well-being. Most of all, it expands the framework of our potential, which in turn allows us to reach for higher and more fulfilling lives. Ultimately, it is necessary to appreciate yourself in this way in order to find the love of your life. You simply cannot experience life beyond the framework of your beliefs. As long as you view yourself as flawed, this view becomes your status quo, and you will not allow yourself to experience the fulfillment you secretly crave. It will remain a barrier to a successful life, as well as successful relationships.
The List Method requires you to take an appreciative, personal inventory of your needs and desires, your values, standards, and what your ideal life would look like before you can come up with a List of your perfect mate. You will not allow yourself to experience your best possible outcome as long as you see yourself as flawed and undeserving. You simply won’t be able to reach for it. So, ditch the perfectionism and remind yourself that you’re absolutely beyond compare, then celebrate all the many things you do so very well!
Here's my latest article on what seamless compatibility feels like...
Or if you prefer reading...
People want to be loved. And they also need to love something. It’s part of who we are, a basic human requirement. Without it, we’re just not able to live our best life. So when I wrote my book, The List Method – which is a science-based way to find the love of your life - I thought single people would flock to bookstores.
Then I realized that, although so many people are lonely and are dreaming of that perfect love, they have so much baggage around relationships that they aren’t exactly keen on rushing into their next one. That’s because They have no real concept of what a real, epic, true romantic love relationship can actually feel like. I mean, I know I didn’t either at the outset of this journey.
So, people are telling me things like, “No, no, I’m done with all of that. Relationships are just too hard. I’m happier alone.” I get it, but they think that only because they have no real idea how life-affirming, life-changing, fun, and supportive a true romance with an ideal partner is. I hear, “I would love to find someone to share my life with, but I’m not willing to compromise myself just to be in a relationship.” That’s a really good point, but they don’t know that when you’re in a relationship with your perfect match, there is no need for compromise. Everybody gets what they want because you both want the same things. I know. It’s hard to imagine when you’ve never felt something like that.
Love Gets a Bad Rap
Of course, we don’t exactly have the best examples in front of us. Indeed, the stories of literature and the films we see on television and the movies paint a god-awful picture. Of course, they’re not really meant to model actual life; they are written to entertain and to drive the plot forward. A story where a relationship flows evenly and harmoniously would be pretty dull to watch. In the movies, an epic love story only works if someone dies at the end. And, without being aware, these stories fuel our image and our expectations of what relationships are like.
Our own experiences of past relationships don’t help much, either. To be fair, though, look at how they all got started. Impossibly romantic and entirely accidental - it finally happened: You met someone! There was a powerful initial attraction, and somehow, you hoped that would be enough to make it work for a lifetime. But how could it? You completely ignored the myriad facets that make you and your new lover totally different beings. Really, what are the chances that you would meet someone, by sheer luck, who would be an utterly seamless match for you? Your odds of winning in Vegas are quite a bit better!
It’s much more likely that you would meet someone who wants completely different things, has different opinions, and sees the world from an entirely different point of view. If you find them sufficiently attractive to want to make it work, the compromising and negotiating begins. Eventually, you’ve done so much trading and bargaining that you barely recognize yourself anymore. That kind of love doesn’t feel good. More than 50% of marriages ultimately go their separate ways. It’s just not worth being with someone if you have to lose yourself in the process. So, I get why people don’t exactly want to rush into their next relationship.
Clarity is Key
With no real examples, the vast majority of people have no experience of what epic love really feels like. And that kind of love rarely ever happens by accident. Finding your perfect partner requires focus, clarity, and deep self-awareness. You have to be clear on the kind of life you’re looking for. You have to know your goals, desires, opinions, your values, and personal standards. Only then can you create a detailed List of the one person who would be your perfect match in all areas of life. For it to work, you have to catalog precisely what you want in a partner: everything you find irresistible and attractive, both physically, emotionally, and intellectually.
I promise you, if you write your List, your love will come. And quickly! For me, it took only two days to find the love of my life after I had written my List – and after clearing out some of the emotional baggage that was getting in my way. The List Method tells you all about how to do that.
Some people worry that if they were to get so detailed, so picky about whom they were looking for, they would never find them, but the exact opposite is true. The clearer you are on your goals, the faster and more satisfying the results. Just like the business world could not function without clear goals and projections and precise planning, neither does your love life. A relationship is not truer or more romantic because it started by accident. In fact, the exact opposite is true.
A relationship that is built on seamless compatibility elevates your life. It is hard to put into words how wonderful life is when you are with your ideal partner. When you both have the same ideas about what a perfect life should look like, there is no need for compromise – ever! When you both want the same things and share the same hopes and dreams, there is no need for deal-making, trades, and agreements – you both get what you want. By that, I do not mean that you have to be joined at the hip. For example, my partner and I both require a tremendous amount of alone time. (I, fact, it was on my List!) The need for solitude is just one more thing we have in common. The point is that you both get exactly what you want – and that’s where the happiness comes from.
The Elephant in the Room
In the United States, sex is rarely ever discussed in polite society. We ignore it and pretend we don’t care about it, particularly as we get older, but sex is so important for a healthy, happy life. It increases dopamine, oxytocin, norepinephrine, and testosterone levels and does wonders for mental and emotional well-being. These hormones improve your mood, even your cognition, and they diminish anxiety and stress responses.
Sex has to be part of your thinking when you create your List of your perfect mate. What’s your hottest fantasy, and who are you with when it happens? Having sex with a compatible partner who shares your desires and fantasies is very powerful. You’ll be infinitely happier and healthier, and that means greater success in all other areas of your life.
A Successful Life Should Have a Successful Relationship
When you truly feel loved, adored, admired, and appreciated for who you actually are, you bloom like a potted plant. With your mind always on love, everything looks brighter. Being so positively focused, seemingly, your luck improves. You run on all ten cylinders and can show up as your very best self. It’s self-perpetuating, so this kind of love becomes stronger, better, and sweeter each day as the years pass.
I challenge you to flip your opinion of what love can be like. Read the List Method - I promise you someone is out there who is your perfect match, and they are waiting for you. Don’t wait another day to live your ideal life. There is an epic love out there for you - and all for the nominal price of a bit of self-discovery.
Go to TheListMethod.com to find out more.
In my book, The List Method, I dedicated an entire chapter to loneliness. After all, it's the single biggest reason why people are looking for love; unfortunately, it is also the single biggest reason why they'll never find it.
We think of loneliness as a feeling in response to an external condition - someone is missing in your life. And if you could only find that someone, then you would no longer have to experience that agonizing, skin-crawling feeling. Surprisingly, though, loneliness has nothing whatsoever to do with other people. Instead, loneliness is a response to an inner state of being; therefore, nothing from the outside can ever fix it.
Loneliness isn't about what you're not getting from someone else; instead, it is what you are withholding from yourself. In fact, here's a valuable hint: whatever you most dream about getting from a relationship, be it loving attention, affection, companionship, fun, respect, admiration, caring, or pampering, those are the very things you habitually deny yourself. (That's why you miss them so much!) Loneliness is a feeling of neglect, your own neglect of yourself in the areas where you feel it most.
In psychiatry, it's called having an external locus. It means you are not present in your body and, in fact, have only a superficial awareness of your own presence. You're unaware of your own presence and power because you're so used to giving it away to others. Somewhere deep in your subconscious, you believe that your happiness rests only in the hands of others. In fact, your focus is rarely on yourself at all, if ever.
You groom and dress not to please yourself but to make yourself more attractive (or at least more acceptable) to others. Your hobbies and activities are less an expression of your interests or enjoyments but rather a distraction from yourself. Your television has to be on because you need the noise to divert you from your circular thinking. You're obsessed with the political climate because it keeps you away from your thoughts about your own life. You exhaust yourself, keeping yourself as busy as possible so that you don't have to feel the terrible emptiness inside.
Lonely people habitually put themselves last. Since they do not know the sense of being present with themselves, they effectively invalidate themselves. The needs of others automatically take precedence. Another 's time is always more important. The opinions of others count more than your own. The happiness of others is, for some reason, much more significant than your own. It's as if you're perpetually holding the door open for someone, saying, “No, no! Please! You first!”
All this self-negation comes at a price. You may believe you're being polite, loving, and giving, but in reality, you're just being neglectful - of yourself! You're being "selfless" but not in a good way because you're making yourself less. Meaning you don't carry any value in the equation, so it's no wonder you're left feeling bereft and empty.
Of course, you're hoping to find someone who is equally selfless and who will magically make up the deficit in you. Sadly, that's not how it works. A relationship consists of giving and receiving, much like breathing consists of inhalation and exhalation. If only one or the other is present, there will soon be trouble! If you only inhaled, your lungs would explode; if you only exhaled, you would quickly pass out from lack of oxygen. In the same way, you will soon feel depleted if you do all the giving in a relationship. If you do not allow yourself to receive, you will perpetually feel a lack of fulfillment, loneliness, and a sense of need.
During the pandemic, many people were forced to work from home, and scores of individuals barely bothered to get out of their pajamas. God forbid, they might have put on a little makeup or maybe even some jewelry. “For myself? Why bother?” Oftentimes, people attended Zoom conferences, but they only dressed the parts that would show on camera. The point is that self-care went straight out the window without an audience and without other people for whom to dress. Hint: It's not SELF-care when you're doing it because of others!
With television studios closed, news anchors often broadcast from their homes. One reporter dressed very professionally in a shirt and tie from the waist up, but he wasn't careful enough about his camera angle from the waist down, resulting in his tidy whities showing on national television! The absence of self-care was so ubiquitous that wearing nothing but pajamas and sweats became the norm. A friend of mine didn't wash her hair for six weeks because “nobody” was going to see her anyway. She couldn't wait for the world to open up so she could start seeing people again. She was drowning in her isolation because, without others for whom to dress, indeed, for whom to exist, she literally felt like “nobody.” All this sharply points to the reason for our society's rampant epidemic of loneliness. Lack of self-care is the primary benchmark of loneliness.
When you can't even bother to wash your face, take a shower, or dress for yourself, it says that as far as you're concerned, you're not worth the bother. And if you can't be bothered with yourself, how, on god's green earth, can you expect someone else to bother with you? Your own mindset wouldn't allow it because you would not feel worthy enough to receive someone else's love.
If ever you're feeling lonely, and you sense there's someone missing in your life - there really is! The one who is missing is YOU! It tells you that you need to start practicing more self-care immediately. Start treating yourself the way you wish someone else would treat you - in other words, give yourself the time of day! Start keeping a daily journal. I promise you; your thoughts are worth listening to! Find a meditation technique that appeals to you. Your soul has things it wants to tell you! Thoughts, feelings, and circumstances come and go, but you alone remain.
If you harbor a secret longing of one day finding the partner of your dreams, your soulmate, then you must start practicing now. Thich Nhat Hanh said, “The best way to take care of the future is to take care of yourself in the present moment.” The relationship with yourself is the one relationship you'll have forever. Make sure it is a good one!
My brother was diagnosed with Parkinson's, and it made me realize the extreme urgency of taking life off the back burner or being left with endless regret.
A few years ago, my brother was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. It breaks my heart to see how bad it's gotten. While having such a disease is certainly not his fault, there were so many things he could have done differently that would now make things much easier for him. He could have eaten healthier. He could have exercised, at least a little bit. He could have not smoked three packs of cigarettes a day! Habits he talked about wanting to do something about, but didn't that now impact his well-being in a major way.
Life On The Backburner
My brother is fourteen years older than me, and so I always looked up to him. I remember him so full of life in his younger days! He loved children, and he couldn’t wait to be a father. He always said that he wanted at least a dozen kids! But then he married a woman whom he loved but who didn't want kids, so in the end, my brother never had any children. Brock loved to travel. Most of all, he dreamed of seeing New Zealand one day. But his second wife suffered from anxiety and didn’t travel well, so except for one trip to Thailand, my brother never went anywhere at all. We all put things off, but watching a loved one suffer the long-term consequences of such seemingly harmless inaction is scary.
How many times in life have you put things off, thinking you would do them later? You read my articles every week, and maybe you think, “I really ought to get her book. What if my soulmate is really out there?” But then you don't It's just not a good time. You’re so busy right now. You’ll do it later… How many New Year's resolutions have gone by the wayside in this manner? How many diets were abandoned? How many passions have you put on hold because it just wasn't the right time? What have you set on the back burner, thinking there'll be plenty of time later? Looking at my brother, it's clear that later doesn’t always come.
It's Not Your Fault!
I’m not beating up on you. Rather, I want to tell you that it is not your fault at all when you're putting off making those changes. Making changes doesn't work that way. There is actually a mechanism inside of you that is actively working to keep you from making any kind of modifications, physical or emotional. That's why it's so hard to do!
Everything about your body and mind operates according to a set blueprint, and it will do anything in its considerable power to maintain you within these boundaries. Your doctor takes your vitals, blood pressure, body temperature, and current weight because a deviation in these statistics is a good indicator that something has gone wrong. A healthy body will not deviate from its blueprint in the slightest. Your body doesn’t judge but maintains you within the prescribed framework. And if you suddenly decide that you want to alter any of these predetermined boundaries, your body also doesn’t care if it’s for a good reason. Whether it’s quitting smoking, exercising more, or losing body fat, if you want to change your relationship or even how you handle your finances, your body considers any attempt at an alteration of the blueprint injurious. In other words, it considers it an emergency that will trigger a negative reaction in an effort to return you to your status quo.
That’s why it is next to impossible to make any kind of permanent changes. Your body is actively working against you when you’re trying to start these new habits. And this is not just true for your body but also for your state of mind. Your thoughts have shaped your brain into the physical synaptic structures that make up your beliefs and concepts, which shape how you experience the world. Outside a lobotomy, you cannot change the existing structures. Changing existing beliefs is next to impossible because your mind doesn’t want to be changed. Wishing won’t make it so. Good intentions won’t make it so. The “right time” will never come.
Changing your belief structures is no more possible than changing your blood pressure, but we’re also not very good at accepting things as they are. That’s because humans are here to drive things forward, to change things! The only way for us to experience a sense of fulfillment and true happiness in life is via the contribution of our unique gifts and talents. It is our dharma, our edict - whatever this may mean for each individual. Oscar Wilde said, “Be you! Everyone else is already taken!”
There comes a time when you realize that only so many years are left. Something will need to happen, and soon! Quite literally, it's do or die! Do you make that bucket list and start living actively - or do you wait for some disease to catch up with you and wait out the end? Putting it off is equal to waiting it out. Maybe it even seems easier and less hassle, but after watching my mother and now my brother, I can tell you that the wait is a very, very long one!
There could be another reason that could make it hard to move forward. Hormones start to decrease pretty early on for human beings. It starts so gradually that you may not realize that you’re slowing down at first Suddenly, you notice that you’re a little bit more achy and a lot more tired. Increasingly, you lose your sex drive and then your drive to start new things. Eventually, it feels like someone pulled the rug out from under you. You think you’ve become old, but it’s really just your hormones. From my own experience, I highly recommend bio-identical hormones, which will restore your physical, emotional, and mental balance. If you find that you are not who you used to be and it bothers you, check out BioTeMedical.com. I have no tie-in with them, I just know what it has done for my own life.
The Only One Way to Go
So, how do you go about making changes when your mind and body don’t want to let you? The most powerful and effective way is using visualization. Visualizing the future you desire creates a roadmap to reach that future. Instead of thinking about going on a diet and never eating anything good again (which doesn’t work!), you simply imagine your healthy, vital body looking exactly the way you like. It’s fun, and your mind and body won’t fight you, but the clear goals you're seeing will carve out a new sense of direction. Instead of getting all dolled up to go on a date you dread with some weirdo you don’t care about, simply visualize the blissful relationship you’re really after. In other words, cut out the middleman and visualize your desired end result. It works for literally anything. Visualization is powerful. There is a reason professional athletes have been using it for years: it gets results. It creates the desired new synaptic structures in the brain that will eventually allow you to experience the future you desire. While you’re doing it, you will discover valuable things about yourself that will help you overcome the obstacles that have kept you blocked. Visualization slowly creates new possibilities that will morph into new parameters for your new, purposeful, and authentic life.
Go to TheListMethod.com to embark on your journey of self-discovery to create the life and love you really want.
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What is it that really makes us so different from the animals? Well, for one, we exfoliate! And we accessorize! Seriously though, animals have a few things for which we should genuinely envy them. And there is one thing that humans have that makes us vastly superior and exceedingly powerful. Unfortunately, few take full advantage of this incredible gift, which shaped our civilization and has the ability to put us in control of our lives.
Animals accept life as it comes. It would never occur to them to change anything because they do not have the ability to think consciously. They live entirely by their instincts. Like us, animals seek sustenance and shelter and are driven to perpetuate their species, and, like us, they play and like to have fun. I am friends with a raven who lives in my area. I’ve called him Maverick because he is an amazing flyer. He enjoys gliding on the updrafts in the canyon in front of my house. On a windy day, Maverick will fly high, pull his wings close to his body, and flip upside down. Of course, this causes him to drop sharply. He waits as long as he can before he unfolds his wings to turn out of his free fall. It is breathtaking to watch it. Maverick will do this again and again as long as the wind allows. It’s obvious that he does it for the sheer joy of flying. Maybe he enjoys the feeling he gets in his stomach when he drops. I’m sure Maverick doesn’t waste a lot of time analyzing why he does what he does. He lives completely in the moment. Maverick is enviable that way.
Most humans don’t enjoy their existence quite so fully. They’re often miserable because they don’t know how to be in the moment. They are caught in time, regretting the past, worrying about the future, and sometimes both simultaneously. While these are thought processes that arise from our complex cognitive abilities, like memory, imagination, and anticipation, which are hallmarks of our superior intelligence and have undoubtedly contributed to our success as a species, they have also led to mental preoccupation and a decreased ability to be fully present. So many live entirely in the past, awash in guilt over something they've done or not done or something that’s happened to them, as if living it over and over again could change things. And, oh, so many are paralyzed by their worries about the future. Dr. Michael Beckwith once said that worrying about the future is like paying interest on money you haven't borrowed - it’s not smart! The past exists only in memories, and the future is pure imagination. Neither is real, so when we’re caught in time, we’re not really living at all. We are miserable because, unlike animals, we’re not so adept at taking life as it comes. Humans are made to change things.
The Great Power
Here, then, is what makes us different from animals: We are imbued with conscious awareness, which gives us the ability to think independently of circumstances. It is this power that allows us to determine our future. The capability to visualize the future plays a crucial role in our capacity to shape and create the lives we desire. Humans have the remarkable ability to imagine and envision possibilities beyond the present moment. By leveraging our cognitive abilities, we can set goals, make plans, and take intentional actions toward creating the future we desire. Our ability to think abstractly and project ourselves into the future has allowed us to anticipate challenges and identify opportunities to shape the world the way it is today. This unique human capacity for envisioning the future has driven our ability to innovate, build civilizations, and make progress. The ability to think independently of circumstance is the great gift of humanity. It is what truly separates us from the animals. It is our superpower. There is just one caveat - we must be present to win!
What a Mess!
One might wonder, if we are indeed such powerful beings, why we have made such a mess of our world. We have indeed leveraged our considerable cognitive abilities and envisioned and created futures with the most fantastical inventions and innovations, so why, then, is there still so much suffering? The problem is that we live so much of our lives unconsciously. So, instead of seeing reality, we mainly see the ninety-nine percent of imaginings and beliefs in our own heads. So, when something out of the ordinary pops up in our lives, we’re immediately caught up in worst-case scenarios: “Oh my God, here it comes!” Something feels off in the body, and right away, we worry that it’s cancer! God forbid there really is some kind of diagnosis; in our minds, we’re already casket shopping. The worry is not based on real facts but on what our imagination has cooked up for us, all driven by our subconscious fears and basic instincts. “What if this happens…?” Unfortunately, while we are busy imagining these worst-case scenarios, we use the amazing visualization powers we've been given, and we unconsciously create the future. Just not the one we want. When we’re not present in the moment, we give up the one great power we have as human beings. We give up the ability for self-determination and put ourselves in a position to accept whatever comes our way.
Visualize Whirled Peas
It is imperative that we not leave our future to chance. We must each have a well-defined understanding of where we want to go. What are the unique contributions you personally are meant to make to the world? What are your deepest individual needs and desires? It is vital to embark on a journey of self-discovery so you can work toward realizing your aspirations in all areas of life by having a sharp vision for your future. As a human being, you have been given great power. You have been given the ability to think independently of circumstances. You have been given the opportunity to visualize and create your best future. When you are clear about where you want to go, you can create the future meaningfully, not from instinct-driven fears but from your God-given need and desire to live to your highest potential and express who you are.
to embark on your own personal journey of self-discovery.
I promise you it is well worth your time!
Tracy Kaufmann wrote, “Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship.” What’s more, it sets the tone for your satisfaction and fulfillment in every other area of life.
You Are Always Creating
It's true that you have the power to be, do, and have anything you want, but you don't just begin creating your life experience after you start thinking in a focused manner. You've been creating your own experiences all along. You created your current love life, existing body, present career, and finances based on your awareness and understanding. And now you wish you would have done better, and you can’t quite forgive yourself for not being further along, so the beatings continue until morale improves.
Incomparable & Priceless
Self-esteem is at the root of how much love, beauty, health, and money you will allow yourself to have. Most people struggle to give themselves a positive self-assessment because they're always comparing themselves to others. There is no winning such a contest because you’ll always measure your weakest points against another person's strengths. It’s never fair.
I love people-watching. It's so much fun to see all the short ones, tall ones, fat ones, and skinny ones. Some dress as if they don't own a mirror, and others look really spiffy. But the one thing that always strikes me is that no one, not a single one, looks like anybody else. Eight billion different noses and eyes and ears - I find that remarkable. Even if they wear the exact same outfit, they look nothing alike. Everybody is unique and not just on the outside. They’ve led different lives, come to different conclusions, and arrived at different opinions and beliefs. None of them sees the world in the exact same way as anyone else. We are each completely unique expressions of consciousness.
Normally, when something is so unique and rare as to be the only one in the world, it is assigned massive value. An Astin Martin DBR1 sold for twenty-two million dollars – and there are five of them! Van Gogh’s Starry, Starry Night, sold for 50 million dollars. While unique, it is just a painting. It just hangs there. It doesn’t do anything. Considering that you are conscious and creative, shouldn’t you be worth a whole lot more?
Instead, we think we’re being “realistic” when we focus on our worst angles. I recently talked to a woman who was very distressed about her body because she had seen a really bad photo of herself. She had worn something admittedly frumpy to a backyard barbecue, and someone had taken a picture of her from a really bad angle. She saw the photo and cried. The image burned itself into her mind, and now she thinks she always looks that bad. And that’s so unfair! Even the most perfect supermodel can take an awful shot. When I was modeling eons ago, they still used film. And they used to say that it was a good photoshoot if you got one usable shot for every two rolls of film, so one good shot out of about 50 photographs! And that was with a professional makeup artist and a stylist doing nothing but constantly adjusting everything to perfection. Still, one out of 50! The model could have gone home crying that she took 49 really bad pictures that day, but why would she when the fiftieth ends up on the cover of a magazine?
Of course, you have a right to your opinion on what looks best according to your taste, but I can guarantee that not everyone will agree. You can't always please all the people, and the world would be boring if you could. We are a beautifully diverse mix of a little bit of everything. Who is to say which flower is the most beautiful? Which color is the best? Each is perfect for something and someone. You are perfect for someone who is waiting to worship the ground you walk on. My beloved adores me and thinks I'm beautiful even when I'm having a fat day or my hair looks weird. She sees none of that because, to her, I’m her perfect love. We are all perfect when we’re seen from the right angle.
Don't focus on your worst angles, and let them be the estimate of your entire worthiness. Instead, look for your perfect angle because you really do have one! Why would you base your estimation of your worth on someone else's opinion? Why do their words carry more weight than yours? Accept yourself as you are because there is literally no one who is even remotely like you. You are without any equal, so who's to say who is “better” than someone else? Don't compare yourself to anyone because it's like comparing apples to oranges.
You're the only one, so by definition, that makes you perfect. Never say that you're imperfect because it's simply not true. Instead, realize that you are a perfect expression of consciousness that is inimitable, precious, and has a reason for being here. How can you look at a perfect sunset and not realize that you come from the same source? The universe brings forth only perfection, but having eyes to see it is a choice. Recognize your intrinsic perfection. Of course, you are allowed to have your opinion about who or what is your favorite; that is also part of the infinite diversity. But you must see the intrinsic perfection that lies at the core of it all.
The Hand You’re Dealt
See yourself as the perfection that you are, even if you feel that you are not at your best at the moment - because that changes nothing about the fundamental fact. I recently read about another teenage girl who committed suicide because she “didn’t fit in.” Such a horrible tragedy based on a ridiculous premise - none of us “fit in”! We are all matchless and irreplaceable puzzle pieces; it takes everyone to make the complete picture. You are absolutely incomparable, so whom would you compare yourself to? Maybe there is something you don't like something about yourself, but you know what? Get over it because those were the cards you were dealt!
Why would you weaken your position and insult your own flawlessness just because you would have preferred a different nose? Or perhaps you would have liked different abilities or anything else different about yourself? And would it really make a difference? Your nose and your abilities are yours. Nobody has anything like it, and therefore they are perfect exactly how they are.
You must accept that because it is the fundamental starting point for how much love and beauty, and money you will allow yourself to have. So, if you think you’re being realistic when you say, “Well, I'm not perfect; maybe I'm a seven on a scale of 10 - that's still pretty good, right?" - that's the limit you set for yourself in everything. You can jealously look at all the eights, the nines, and the 10s and see how they seemingly have it all, but please realize that you and only you assessed yourself as a seven. In reality, you are a 10. You are perfect, not compared to somebody else but compared to you.
Changing the Premise
Begin here: “I'm perfect the way I am. Yes, I could lose a few pounds, and I will, but that changes nothing about who I am!” In this way, you put yourself in a position to actually be able to lose the extra pounds because you do not make them part of your intrinsic blueprint. If, instead, you call yourself a fat slob, you make the excess pounds part of who you are, and they can never go away. If you call yourself ugly and unworthy, you cut yourself short and will never attain all you are meant to have. And you probably won't meet your perfect lover either because you would not allow them in.
The whole world and all your desires open up to you when you change your basic premise about who you are. You are meant to have it all, and you can, but only if you accept that you are perfect and quite beyond compare.
Tony Robbins says that love is the oxygen of the human soul, and he is spot-on! It’s why I wrote my book, The List Method – the science-based way to find the love of your life. I am thrilled to report that nearly everyone I know who has read the book has found love and is incredibly happy in their new relationship. It really blows my mind! What’s more, is that most of them read the book but, by their own admission, did not actually do the workbook, AND IT STILL WORKED! Just reading the book and absorbing the information was enough to focus their attention and call the partner of their dreams into their experience. Deep down, everybody knows what they find most attractive; it’s just usually locked inside the subconscious where you can’t access it. Reading the book helps create the clarity that activates the law.
Sadly, there are also those who read the book yet still can’t meet anyone. Those are people who have subconscious barriers, old beliefs, and outdated views that block their desires and keep them from moving forward. It breaks my heart. They have no idea why they can’t seem to meet anyone they find even remotely attractive. These subconscious barriers are blind spots for them, and they are unaware they are blocking their path to happiness. When something is below your conscious awareness is very difficult to do anything about it.
Here is the issue that we all face: so much of our life is subconscious. The life we think we are living only occurs inside our heads. Shockingly, we see only about 1% of the world clearly, and 99% of what goes on around us is pure conjecture of the mind*. We think we see the real world, but we just keep meeting our own beliefs over and over again. Our fears and beliefs are based on our experiences, interpreted inside our mind; mixed with our confirmation bias, they create those barriers of which we are barely conscious. We think we know what we want in life, but what’s holding us back from getting it is subconscious. Whenever we are not getting what we want, one thing is certain: a corresponding subconscious belief is blocking it. Of course, we have no idea this is going on; we only know that things aren’t moving forward for us.
At any time, you can look around and see something in your life that you don’t like, something you’d like to change. Don’t feel bad; it doesn’t mean your life sucks. In fact, this divine discontent we all feel is the basis for all evolution and improvement on this planet. We feel some type of negative emotion that drives us to investigate what’s wrong, and then we’re motivated to find the solutions.
But here is where the rubber meets the road. Once we’re aware of a problem, the big question is, what do we do about it? Of course, there are those who straight away visualize a desired outcome and forge ahead to find a solution. The majority of us, however, aren’t quite that focused. We’re fixated on the problem, wallowing in it and complaining about it with little progress, sometimes for years. You want to go to the gym, but you don’t. You want to go on a diet, but you keep eating donuts. In other words, we are hijacked by circular thinking. So, when you find yourself ruminating about everything that’s wrong in your life, and you’re beating yourself up about all the things you should be doing but aren’t, or even if you just find yourself staring off lost in space, it means that it’s not you who is running your thinking; your thinking is running you. In other words, something other than you is in charge of your destiny, and what’s in charge are your fears, your beliefs, and the barriers to your happiness.
The problem is that when your subconscious hijacks you, all the best self-help advice in the world doesn’t help you because you can’t do anything with it. By definition, you don’t have the ability to take conscious thought or action in the area of the subconscious. It's like you’re underwater, being tumbled along by the current. It does underscore the need to have a List, not just for finding the love of your life. You should have clarity about where you want to go in all areas of life so that even when you’re unable to take conscious thought, you end up somewhere near where you want to go. Clarity activates the law even if you’re not around for it.
Abraham/Hicks likens life to a river. When you are going with the flow, it feels wonderful, and everything comes easily. When things aren’t going your way, however, it means you are swimming against the current. Not only are you working way too hard, but you also won’t end up where you want to go. When you’re caught up in the turmoil of negative thinking, there isn’t much you can do. It is, however, an issue that needs to be addressed because, unfortunately, we tend to drive where we look. By this, I mean that your primary energetic frequency creates your experience of the world. Negative energy and thinking will always take you where you don’t want to go.
So, while you may not be able to take much conscious thought, there is one simple question you can ask yourself: Am I going upstream or downstream? Right now, in this moment, am I going with the flow or against the current? Am I blaming, shaming, or thinking about how wrong and stupid everyone is, or am I feeling blessed? You can figure out this much without pinpointing specifics – which you can’t do in the subconscious.
Everything you want is downstream, resulting from going with the flow. If your inquiry tells you that your thinking is upstream, there are simple ways to turn your boat around: Take a deep breath. Turn on some music. Get up, stretch, and hop up and down a few times. Take your eyes off your cell phone or computer momentarily and look outside. Expanding your view long-distance releases serotonin in the brain. Think of an area in your life where things are working and be actively grateful for it. Or simply put a smile on your face, even if it feels weird at the time. All these are simple, scientifically proven strategies to change your state and expand your energy on the spot, no matter where you are at the moment.
Make this simple inquiry a habit. Awareness of whether your present thought is upstream or downstream has a tremendous impact and, over time, can permanently uplevel your energetic state. Life takes place inside our heads, and your experience of the world is entirely subjective. As you change your energy, your experience of the world changes with it, and you might just find that things are heading your way much more often.
70% of employees are unfulfilled and disengaged at work. 50% of all marriages fail, and even those who make it say it’s “hard work” keeping it together. The self-help industry is booming because people aren’t happy, and most can’t even really say why.
We got it good compared to prior generations! Our parents and grandparents took whatever job was available in order to make a living. Slaving long hours, often in untenable working conditions, they had no expectation of finding fulfillment in their work. When they decided it was time to have a family, they found a boy or girl from the neighborhood. In many cultures, it was the parents who picked the person with whom they would spend the rest of their lives. They had no say at all in the matter. The funny thing is that, for the most part, those arranged marriages actually worked. By contrast, we have complete freedom to choose. We can pick any line of work that interests us, and we still hate our jobs. We have access to potential partners from all over the world, and yet somehow can’t seem to make it work. Previous generations had nowhere near the freedoms and opportunities we have, yet somehow, they were happier because they never expected more.
Our parents and grandparents worked hard to ensure that our lives would be better than their own. Ultimately, they labored to give us the choices that have become the noose around our necks. Imbued with nearly limitless opportunities, our expectations are sky-high and getting higher because we have the audacity to expect happiness from our lives. Paradise is dangling in front of us like the proverbial carrot. Yet the only thing we know for sure is that whatever it was we were supposed to have - we don’t have it. When I was at the top of my career, I had built a multi-million-dollar marketing company with seventy employees, yet I was on anti-depressants. I had a mansion overlooking the ocean in Southern California. Still, the voices of the dark demons of depression were far louder than the crashing waves below me, obliterating the sun before it could even rise. I was deeply unhappy, and I couldn’t figure out why. Moreover, I beat myself up for being unhappy when I had so much. What was wrong with me, to be so ungrateful in the middle of all that luxury?
Hard To Find It When You Don’t Know What It Is
Here then, is the reason for all that unhappiness: The generations before us taught us to want more, but they never taught us how to figure out what we actually wanted. (It’s not something they would have known about.) We never learned to ask ourselves the right questions, and so we forged ahead blindly. More, better, faster - and in the end, we feel betrayed and disillusioned when we find ourselves burned out and exhausted, wondering what it was all for. Fulfillment remains elusive because it’s hard to find what you’re looking for when you don’t really know what that is. Our relationships are on such shaky grounds because here, too, we search without any clue what we’re looking for. The only thing most people are able to say is that they’d like to find someone “nice” (whatever that means!) They'll go to a bar, to church, or search online, and if they come across someone who is interested in them, they’ll go on a date, happy to compromise their needs and adjust their values to try to make it work. Finding your soulmate should not be about hooking up with someone who more or less fits the bill and then bending yourself into a pretzel to make it fit. The love of your life should be easy. It should be the best thing that’s ever happened to you. It should be joyful! The love of your life should be someone who delights you, someone who adores you and is 100% perfect for you in every way. Of course, the notion that you would find such a person by sheer luck without any planning or forethought is ludicrous!
There is a basic rule: In order to find what you are looking for – in life and in love – you must, at the very least, be able to describe it. So, in order to define what you are looking for, you must get to know yourself. Notice that did not say change yourself! Don’t buy into the myth that you must first become a perfect version of yourself in order to get what you want.
Everyone Is Telling You to Change
I mean, I get it! All your life, everyone has been telling you that you need improvement! Our greatest fear is that the real reason we don’t have what we want is that we’re somehow inadequate. It doesn’t help when people like Gloria Steinem say stuff like, “Too many people are looking for the right person instead of being the right person,” Meaning what? – that you have to become someone you’re not in order to earn the right to look for your soulmate? Advertisers, too, take full advantage of your fears in order to sell you their wares. Doesn’t every advertisement and TV commercial essentially tell you that if you used their product, then you’d finally be enough? If you used that toothpaste or wore these clothes, you’d be part of the in-crowd. If you drove a Lincoln MKC, you would be as cool as Matthew McConaughey. In other words, you would finally be worthy of love! Even pharmaceutical companies get in on the act – ask your doctor if this drug is right for you so you, too, can run on the beach with your puppy, laughing and playing, surrounded by wonderful friends and family, because those people have it made!
It’s all a lie! A new car, the right clothes or some drug can't bring happiness. Happiness doesn’t come from the outside; it starts on the inside. It doesn’t come from changing who you are. Quite the contrary, it comes from honoring who you are! It comes from self-respect. It comes from self-care. It comes from being present enough with yourself to know what you need and want. You will never find fulfillment in a career that requires skills you don’t have, and you won’t find happiness in a relationship where you can’t be yourself. There is only one path to happiness, and that is being absolutely 100% authentic.
How to Get Happy
So how do you find happiness? It’s less about trying to find something out there and more about what’s within you because once you have developed a clear vision of what you want, what you are looking for will find you. In order to get what you want, first, you must know what you want. You must go on a journey of self-discovery. You must ask yourself the all-important question, what do I really want from life? What are my strengths? What do I love most? What are my highest values and standards? What do I hold dear? I promise you it’ll be fun! When you are clear on these things, it's so easy to figure out whom and what will bring you the greatest balance and happiness. It’s an important process, and you owe it to yourself to discover what makes you tick. It can be overwhelming. So, in order to make it easy, I have created a workbook with all the most important questions to ask yourself. It’s yours for free, and you can download it here. I promise you your life will never be the same. When you know how your ideal life looks and feels, providence will take hold of you and propel you into the future of your dreams.
Learn more about the process by reading The List Method.
The List Method is a simple step-by-step way to find the love of your life. It is based on neuroscience and helps you uncover and clear away past roadblocks to a successful relationship. You’ll come to understand your own deep needs and desires and then create a crystal-clear vision of the partner of your dreams. It does not have to take a long time. Armed with a clear List, it could potentially take only days for you to find what you’re looking for. Guaranteed!!
Maybe you’re just kidding yourself, thinking that life can get better. Let’s face it; people don’t really change. Maybe you’d be better off thinking a little more within the realm of possibility for yourself. At least, that’s what my mother would have said. My mother called herself a realist. She believed that things were the way they were, and that was that. Maybe she had become disillusioned by her own life experiences, or perhaps it was just because she was German. I don't know. All I know is that whenever, in my child-like exuberance, I would run to her and tell her about something I wanted to be when I grew up, she would invariably rain on my parade. She would enumerate the reasons why it was impossible and why it was best not to try. She wasn't trying to be mean. She meant well. Of course, she was horribly wrong. Realism says that things are the way things are, and it is unrealistic to expect them to change. In other words, realism enshrines the status quo. Realists think they see the world as it is. They don’t realize that they are merely seeing their own beliefs materialize over and over again. My mother didn’t know about neuroscience and that we are not able to experience something unless we believe it is possible. She didn't know the preemptive power that beliefs hold in framing our reality. It breaks my heart to think how much life my mother missed out on because of this one big faulty belief!
The World Is Real – You’ve Just Never Been There!
Here is a scientific fact I just learned recently that shocked me. When we say that the world we live in is of our own making, it is meant literally. We think that our brain takes in the world as it really is, but that’s not true. It turns out that, for the most part, it just makes things up. In reality, you only see a tiny fraction, about 1% of the world around you clearly. Specifically, you see the area you focus on; the rest is more or less a blur. Right now, you’re reading this article, and naturally, you see the screen clearly, but you are only vaguely aware of the rest of the room you’re in. Of course, you could look at the room, but then that would become your new focus, and then the screen you were looking at would become part of the background. For you to perceive the entire picture around you, your brain would have to be 600 times bigger than it actually is. Hardly efficient! Your brain literally only scans the tiny little point of focus you are looking at. It does not have actual informational data for the rest of the room, so it simply makes it up. It uses past memories about the room you’re in and also adds what it expects to happen in the future to provide you with a complete illusion of your surroundings. This is not just true for the room you’re presently in; this is the case under all circumstances. 99% of what you believe to be factual about the world around you is pure conjecture. There is a real world out there; you’ve just never actually been there!
Your brain creates its own reality based on your experiences, the things you’ve learned, and what you’ve come to believe and expect about the world. If we were in a room together, we would probably agree on the color of the walls and the type of furniture we’re sitting on, but in truth, we would each experience something different. Everyone has had a different life; therefore, everyone developed a slightly different brain. We are as unique on the inside as we are on the outside. Color, for example, is not an actual thing; it is an interpretation of the individual brain. Color consists of colorless light waves. When the eye perceives light waves, they travel to an area deep in the back of the brain where, depending on their wavelength, they are interpreted as a specific color. However, each person's brain processes this information in a unique way. Every brain sees and thinks a little differently.
What’s Your Reality?
Every brain comes up with its own reality. Although we’re similar in many, many ways, and we all occupy roughly the same space in the cosmos, people’s lives can differ vastly from your own. There are as many different realities as there are people. Some people occupy a different physical reality. I watched a YouTube video the other day about people whose body control is on another level. Some could leap into summersaults from standing still. They did not appear to be subject to the same laws as gravity as I, whose body creaks when I get up from a chair. I can literally not imagine moving that quickly and powerfully. Sometimes, even people who live right alongside you can still occupy a completely different dimension. My partner, the love of my life, apparently lives in a dimension that’s vastly different from mine. In 2016 she did something that would be completely unfathomable to me. At the age of 62, she climbed into a tiny, 21-foot rowboat and rowed the Pacific 2,500 miles from California to Hawaii. Without a motor, without a safety boat, relying only on her own strength. She faced unimaginable fear and loneliness. Can you imagine being a tiny speck in the vast expanse of the Pacific, particularly at night? She braved 30ft waves when a hurricane came up. She dealt with the discomfort of being exposed to the elements and wet and salty for 47 long days. This is just one of the many incredible feats she has performed, such as swimming around Manhattan Island or bicycling from Los Angeles to Atlantic City in the Race Across America, which she won. I occupy the same space as this person, yet I can’t comprehend the dimension of thinking that is required to want to undertake such feats. Me, I love spy stories and love watching spy movies. They’re fun and exciting, but, of course, for me, they’re fantasy. Yet, while I’m sitting comfy and cozy in my favorite rocking chair, there are thousands of men and women around the world who really are spies! People who risk life and limb, physical torture, and imprisonment, who shun all the things that are meaningful to most of us, love, family, security, and the simple joy of living, all for the thrill of it. They have created a reality for themselves that is very different from yours and mine.
Although our realities may be far less dramatic, we each live in worlds that are of our own making – simply because that’s how the human brain works. The reality we create for ourselves is undergirded by our personal beliefs, memories, and expectations. Some people create realities for themselves where they don’t have enough money or where their bodies are unwell. Perhaps the biggest fear people face is that they are somehow not enough, that they are inadequate and don’t measure up. They dream of being loved, as does everyone, but they do not believe that they are worthy. Based on their beliefs, memories, and expectations, they created a reality where no one can and will ever love them. They cannot fathom a reality where someone would be madly in love with them and worship the ground they walk on. If they were capable of imagining such a sweet dream, they would already have it. Instead, they are prisoners of their own beliefs, and their life is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Realism is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
When you know the science of how and why we perceive the world, you have a choice. You can accept the status quo and believe the story that your brain tells you, or you can chuck the so-called realism and be, do, and have anything you want. Remember that what you call “real” is 99% made up by your brain. It’s made up of nothing but your old beliefs, your bad memories, and your low expectations of what might be coming next. You are living a self-fulfilling prophecy, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. Successful people are called changemakers for a reason. They refuse to let life just happen to them. By definition, change cannot be created by accepting things as they are. Change does not come from being "realistic." To create change, you must go against the existing norm. You must do something different. For your world to expand to the life you want to live, you must expand your current belief system – and, as crazy as it may sound, this requires you to be UN-realistic. Don’t believe when your brain tells you that nothing will ever change. It is lying to you! When writing your List of the love and the life you want, you must allow yourself to dream and dream BIG, or nothing will ever change. Go for the gold! Lukewarm doesn’t cut it because it doesn’t generate excitement, and excitement is the fuel necessary to start your engines. (Remember, it’s all energy!) The big stuff, the stuff you really want, doesn't just fall into your lap. It can’t be found by being realistic. Don’t settle for the status quo. Make a conscious decision to broaden your horizons. You must allow yourself to see and do things differently, or you'll never get to see the huge world of possibilities that literally exists just outside your current point of view.
Despite all the money and all the effort we spend trying to improve our lives, the change is rarely ever permanent. New ways of doing things fall by the wayside. Diets and gym memberships are abandoned. Expensive vitamins are shelved. As frustrating and disappointing as it may seem, there is a very simple reason why things go back to the way it was before, and thankfully, there is an easy way to change it.
You only experience the world through the framework of your existing beliefs. In fact, every single experience you have is the result of a belief in your mind. Beliefs are powerful. They are much more than just mere mental concepts; they are physical manifestations in the brain in the form of neural connections. When you think a thought often enough, the nerve fibers in your brain that are involved in that particular thought physically begin to reach out to one another to form bridges, so-called synaptic connections. Once these nerve bridges are formed, thought energy travels along those lines habitually. It’s like the road that you drive to get to the grocery store. There might be another way of getting there, but you take the one you're used to taking. Once a belief has been formed, your thinking in that area becomes set. It becomes the way you see the world, which then also determines your experience in that regard. That's why it's so hard to create any kind of real change in your life. While you may sincerely want to change a certain condition, your beliefs and your thinking are still running along the same old roads they've always taken, so it's no wonder you always end up in the same place.
Let's use the example of weight loss since it is such a ubiquitous problem. Billions of dollars are spent on diets and weight loss strategies. Your Facebook feeds are full of experts nobody has ever heard of, promising new insights on why your last diet didn’t work! It was the wrong foods at the wrong time, your hormones, or the wrong exercise routine. While I certainly encourage everyone to do their research and find a healthy balanced diet and exercise routine that is right for them I'm also telling you that no weight loss strategies can or will work unless you first change your self-image. In other words, unless you change what you think and believe about yourself all diets are useless!
Here’s why: Your body is an extremely sophisticated system programmed to maintain itself within very strict parameters. Blood pressure, chemicals, and hormones are all constantly monitored and adjusted to the best of the body’s abilities. Your body temperature is set at 96.3 degrees. If you get too hot and your core temperature rises, your body responds immediately. We find sweating annoying but just think of the sophisticated processes that must take place for your body to sense the rising temperature, sound the alarm, gather liquid from wherever it can inside your body, and then push it out through the pores in order for the air to cool you back down. Your body also has set parameters for your weight, which are determined by your thought about yourself.
When you go on a diet, your body neither knows nor cares that you're simply trying to fit into that new bikini; it thinks something is seriously wrong! If the diet goes on long enough to the point where you’re losing actual substance, your body considers it a real emergency. At first, it will simply send you hunger signals. “Eat, for God's sake! We're dying down here!” When that doesn't work, your body will send cravings for higher-calorie foods to rectify the situation. Haven't you ever noticed that the moment you decide to go on a diet, you're hungrier than ever? Doughnuts started looking good, even if you normally don’t even eat donuts! That's simply your body's survival mechanism doing its best to keep up the calories. If you keep insisting on your diet, the body will go into overdrive. It will slow your metabolism, trying to use the measly supply of calories more efficiently. You could gain weight on a lettuce leaf! Finally, when none of these strategies work, your body comes at you through your subconscious. That's the time when hapless dieters find themselves with their heads buried in the refrigerator, eating whole pints of ice cream. Later, they berate themselves and wonder why on God's earth they did it, without any idea that they are fighting their very own body’s efforts of trying to keep them from starving to death.
No diet can possibly work in the long run unless you first change the body’s internal parameters about your weight. Long before you change your eating habits, you must change your mind; you must stop thinking of yourself as fat; otherwise, you’re just banging your head against a cement wall. The funny thing is, that once you've successfully changed your mindset about your weight, diet becomes a moot point because now your body will do all in its considerable power to move and keep you within the new parameters. You suddenly won’t feel hungry; your metabolism will speed up, the weight will drop off of you, and it must stay off – because the new parameters are gospel!
The question is, how can you change your mind when you haven’t yet experienced the reality you’re trying to create? You can study the piano and practice every single day, and you will eventually create new neural pathways, but how do you practice having more money? How do you practice being skinnier? How do you practice being in a blissful relationship with the love of your life when you have no idea what that kind of love actually feels like? Turns out, there is a powerful way to create the necessary synaptic changes before the actual change, and it’s called visualization.
Visualization is the practice of imagining yourself once your final goal has occurred. It is a scientifically proven method to create changes in synaptic connections in the brain. Athletes have been using visualization to improve their performances for quite some time. Scientific studies have found that the same nerve centers fire whether an athlete is visualizing a routine or whether he is actually, physically doing it. The mind cannot distinguish between a physical reality and an imagined one. In this way, improvement can take place even though the athlete is not yet physically able to perform at the new higher level. Visualization is the way to get you there.
The more real and immersive you can make the process of visualization, the quicker your brain will be able to build synaptic connections. We’re not all visually oriented; some people are more auditory, and some are kinetic. A scent, for example, creates a powerful sense-memory in nearly everyone. Use whatever is your most powerful influence to make the scene as real as possible. Imagine yourself having achieved your desired outcome; see yourself, but also imagine the sounds and smells and the physical sensations you will feel. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, imagine how you will feel when you achieve your desire. Feel the gratitude, joy, confidence, and competence you will feel when you arrive. Emotions are perhaps the most powerful component to create lasting synaptic connections. Sometimes, an emotion alone can be strong enough to influence your mind permanently.
Visualization usually doesn’t work immediately. It takes practice, and there are two reasons. Firstly, the act of visualization itself is new to you, and it will take some time to learn to use all your senses for an immersive experience. Secondly, you don’t yet have a frame of reference for the goal you are trying to envision. After all, that’s why you are trying to visualize it in the first place. But I promise you, with diligent practice, you will get there! Be patient with yourself, but please stick with it! It’s literally like riding a bicycle - with practice, you won’t fall anymore, and eventually, you’ll become a champ at it. Repetition is key. I recommend doing a visualization of your goal at least twice a day, once in the evening when you go to sleep and then again when you wake up in the morning when you’re very relaxed. Visualization doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out process. Five to ten minutes is more than enough. Such a small effort to impact your mind so that the change you want becomes permanent! Visualizing works on all goals, big and small, and it can work very quickly. In fact, the time it takes to create a successful, permanent change in your life depends entirely on your diligence and ability to build the necessary synaptic connection in your mind. Change does not have to take years or months; it can happen in just days!
One caveat: everybody seems to want more money, so people have often tried using visualization to create greater abundance, which has created problems for them. When people want more money, it is usually because they are so painfully aware that they don’t have enough of it. So, when they try to visualize themselves swimming in a pool of abundance, their thoughts are hijacked by their fear of not making ends meet. Instead of thinking of what they want, they think about what they don’t have. Fear is a very powerful emotion, and so oftentimes, it becomes the prevailing thought that drowns out all the others, the existing synaptic connections for the lack, rather than building new ones for abundance.
Lastly, I want to talk about my favorite subject: If you are looking for the love of your life and are unsuccessful, it is because your old beliefs are getting in the way. Perhaps you're unconsciously still thinking about your ex. (That’s what happened to me!) Or maybe you remember the pain when someone cheated on you. If it keeps happening that people you meet and like are suddenly ghosting you, perhaps you simply feel like you’re too old, and deep down, you fear that nobody would want you the way you are. It is always your current beliefs that are creating your current experience. Please take heart! I promise you that your perfect lover is still out there, but they won’t just show up by accident. I know you hate to hear it, but you must do the work; otherwise, you’re just doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. Please go and 1) read the book The List Method. 2) Complete the workbook and make your List. 3) Use the two visualizations I’ve provided for you at the link above.
You can be, do, and have anything you want, but in order to create change, you must first change your mind. So, visualize the life and love of your dreams, and then step boldly forward into your new reality!