This month I am reading Scroll 5 from Og Mandino’s book the Greatest Salesman. The message is as the title says, live this day as if it’s your last.
Sounds fun at first but I read on into the chapter before spending all my savings and liquidating my investments. It starts with the message to live today not to just let today drift by without much notice. Good advice as each day is a gift not given to everyone and to waste it should be a crime.
Yesterday and tomorrow can be distracting from today. Reliving failures, dwelling on mistakes does not right them. We can learn from mistakes and then move on, they have served their purpose. Tomorrow can be enjoyed tomorrow, I am as guilty as anyone for letting an upcoming event distract me from today. Wouldn’t it be better to get value from today and then do the same tomorrow too? What if today is my last and I spent it thinking of tomorrow or yesterday and let the last page of my life be blank.
We are surrounded by friends, family and people who all matter. We are encouraged in this chapter to notice them now. I am glad to be reminded of this as I have a fantastic wife, son and family along with great friends and businesses which many would envy. I am truly blessed and to get tangled up in things which don’t matter would distract me from what I have and take me away from appreciating these things. I have seen so many people throw away days and weeks over things which really don’t matter in the long run and I have done it myself but no time for regrets lets learn the lesson and think of it no more.
Being happy is a choice and I make it daily to enjoy this day just in case it’s my last.
Is Multitasking a good thing?
The Stanford Report published on the 24th August 2009 is very interesting reading.
The experiment was conducted to find out how multitaskers were performing so that we could all learn from them and benefit from their gift or skills. We live in a time of constant information and as a result can find ourselves trying to accomplish different things whilst taking in information from different sources. Were multitaskers processing information differently and sifting things better than the rest of us? Were they using their brains better to store details?
The results were opposite to those expected when the research was conducted. This was a shock at first but when they drilled down into the causes it became obvious that those who were training themselves to take in multi sources of information at the same time were in fact loosing out and under performing as a result. Multitaskers were finding it difficult to ignore certain irrelevant details and concentrate on what was required of them in the study. Being unable to filter out what is not relevant to your current goal could result in loosing ground to those who can stay focused. ‘They are suckers for irrelevancy’ said communication Professor Clifford Nass, ‘everything distracts them’.
I can learn a good lesson from this myself and apply it to my life. It is easy to have the TV on or emails open when working on something. I remember myself recently planning a presentation with Facebook open and achieving very little as a result in the 20 minutes involved. I would have done far better with 15 minutes of work followed by 5 minutes of recreation rather than combining the two.
With us living in the information age it would be easy to remember this as the barrage of information is only going one way.
I will no longer be kidding myself that I am a great multitasker and I see the results immediately.
My thinking is forming what I achieve and as much as I want to blame others I cannot deny this.
I am noticing that when my thoughts are in line with the course material that we are studying I can achieve so much more than when my thoughts are wandering away from me. This has led me to ask the question – Why would I let my thoughts wander away from my chosen path?
It would be easy to say that it is the fault of others and they must be the problem. I think that would have been my old response. I can now see that if I don’t feel that I’m achieving it must be me. By taking 100% ownership of the problem I can feel that the solution is 100% within me. Knowing that if I created the problem I can solve it seems small but this has a massive effect on everything, what if I could help other people realise that they have the power if they would take responsibility for the bad then they could create the good they desire.
I have given a lot of quiet thought to this and adjusted my Plan of Action. The original served me well but it feels dated and life/ business have moved on. I’m not sure why I left the old plan in place when reading it was not getting me up and excited. The new PoA is going to be the start then my Definite Major Purpose is next in the firing line, it needs more energy because as we all know if we charge a desire with a strong feeling we will move a mountain to achieve it. Simple really but I guess in the past I would have just let it drift and then give up leaving me with a habit which was mediocre at best.
Doing this brings me to the realisation that I have this now. Knowing the formula for success has enabled me to not only spot the problems but fix them too. This will happen again and again throughout my life and I have it, I have the knowledge and with it the power to be self directed. Is this the new reality we were promised? Will my life be lived with purpose and on purpose? I know it will be as that is what I want and I truly believe I can achieve it so it a done deal I just need to do the work before I claim it.
We have seen this process played out on the big screens in movies, in our own lives and the lives of others. The reluctant hero gets the call to adventure from within or outside forces and that starts the refusal to take the call. In the movies that refusal is overcome and the journey starts, it would be a short movie if the refusal won!
In our own lives the journey does not always start straight away and sometimes never. For those who do start the journey into the unknown getting as far as the trials or abyss can send them running back to the known. So it would seem that the key is getting past the abyss as nothing will be the same again after we pass this point and the journey will complete in some way.
In my opinion we can break this down into 3 things we need to overcome and if we can solve these then the journey will complete.
- Accepting the call and crossing into the unknown
- Negotiating the Road Of Trials
- Passing the Abyss – Death and Rebirth
1. If we can formulate a plan for getting past the abyss then we will take the call to adventure again and again in the future with confidence and expectation of completing the journey. In fact we will no longer find ourselves reluctant to take the call but instead looking forward to the next journey. So by overcoming 2 and 3 before we start we will have overcome problem 1.
2. The road of trials can be an unwelcoming place if we arrive there alone. Our journey could be weight loss, relationships or maybe business building they all share common threads and will always encounter trials. This is where a plan of action, mentor, desire, etc. will be called upon. Napoleon Hill and many others have given us the tools for this, we just need to use them. Each and everyone of us has the ability to overcome trials as long as we truly believe in the journey we have started and it is in line with our beliefs and authentic selves. Strength in numbers is essential here as a group of like minds are always going to be greater than the sum of their parts.
3. Passing the Abyss will require us to finally let go of our old self and embrace the new. So as before the journey has to be in line with our authentic selves and not a whim or exercise to please others. Death and Rebirth seem a little harsh in this box but in a way we are letting our old self die to make room for the new us. If we cling onto our old self then we can never complete the journey. The popular weight loss journey could be used as an example here. If we still see ourselves as an overweight person who has lost a few pounds then we will inevitably regain the weight. If we truly become a different weight in our head and accept the new reality as our future we will instinctively keep up the exercise and make healthy choices with food. Being continually on a diet is not completing the journey, it is keeping someone else in business but you have not returned to the known world much different from how you left it. This can be applied to self help gurus in all areas of life, if they are not helping you formulate the tools to complete the journey then they may be helping themselves more than you.
This is just my opinion and I’m sure you will form yours about the Hero’s Journey. It makes a great plot line for a film or book but I’m more interested in relating it to my life and those with whom I have the pleasure to meet and work with. We can all be a hero if we wish to and that is a fantastic thing!
What a difference a year makes, this has been said by me many times before but this year I feel it so much more.
Thanks to this course I don’t need to make a new years resolution as I have a Definite Major Purpose which is guiding me in a direction of my choosing every minute of every day. As it is my DMP and worded to encompass my needs spiritually, physically and mentally it is very personal to me. I feel it to my core and I’m loving the journey. I believe any smart goal we set and charge with emotion we can accomplish.
I’m not a fool so I have a Plan Of Action to take me to the goal and I can change the plan if needed to keep me on track. Having a plan to achieve your DMP is essential as we will only get back what we give so we must be putting the work in to stand any hope. I don’t need to know every step at this time as ideas and opportunities are still to come to me along the way but doing something is essential.
I have a Positive Mental Attitude as that is a well written about requirement to achieve and sustain any success in life. A PMA also enables you to be a giving person and enjoy the ride, sounds like my type of plan as enjoying what we have is a good way to live. The Seven Day Mental Diet by Emmet Fox is my guide for this. This also ensures that I’m receptive to the new ideas when they show up, it would be a shame to miss out on a life changing moment because is was having a pity party about something unnecessary like a relatives attitude or heavy traffic.
I also have a Master Mind Alliance as this is essential to keep yourself honest. It’s easy to slack off when it’s just you and your plan but bring someone else into the equation and you feel a responsibility to carry on. If I don’t do the work then I’m not just letting my future self down but also someone else who is trying to better themselves too. My MMA is a good man with regular life problems and a tough job. Between us we will achieve so much as combined we are stronger than the sum of our parts for the reasons above. Nick I’m truly grateful for all that you do to push me on!
DMP + POA + PMA + MMA = Success. An equation that has stood the test of time as it has been written about and used by successful people since the early 1930’s either knowingly or not. Just read their autobiography’s if you need proof.
I hope this explains why I will not be setting a New Years Resolution this year like the majority. They often get forgotten about in early January anyway and setting a goal which you soon drop is a very bad habit to form. If you set a goal then stake your life on it, setting goals which you achieve is a good habit to form and one which can potentially change a life.