Archive for Wisdom and Advise

How true! I heard the quote on my favorite Show, CBS Sunday Morning. They were doing a segment on the Crystal Cathedral, falling out of ownership by the Robert Schuller family. His daughter remembered her father saying, “Every setback is a setup for a comeback.”

How often I tell my clients when reeling from a setback, “find the lesson find the lesson – then put it into action as fast as you can.” When my mother passed away, I was devastated. But we spent the last 6 months of her life in the most honest relationship we every enjoyed. I knew her, I spent quality time with her. She passed and went straight into my heart. She advises me every day in ways she was incapable of when she was on this plane.

When I was diagnosed with MS and my fiancé left me without even a good-bye, I was devastated. But, the pain of rejection gave me the momentum to heal myself and my life. He was a distraction and the wrong man. While I couldn’t see it at that time, however, he was the right man to move me into action that would save my life. And, about 3 years later, when I has grown into being ready to love, the right man appeared, my soul mate of 25 years and counting.

Try this little exercise. Make a list of the “bad” things that have happened to you over the last 5 years, the setbacks. After each one put, “Well, you never know.” Then chart them to the present. How many of those lemons turned into lemonade? And, if some of them haven’t, how can you turn them into lemonade now?

Raise your lemonade glass in a toast to turning setbacks into setups for comebacks and feel free to share one here.

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Mar
06

THE HEATLH DETECTIVE

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Fortune tellers, horoscopes, crystal balls, tea leaves, tarot cards, psychics, and of course experts of all varieties including teachers, preachers, pundits and peers—many of us are looking for answers in all the wrong places – outside of ourselves. Truth is, the answers come from the inside – of each one of us. Yes, we are all the source of our own answers.

I did not want to hear that when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease (AD), multiple sclerosis, in 1985. I was numb from the waist down, partially blind and told I’d spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. The doctors even dared to tell me to sell my advertising agency. At the time, they had no answers, no medications, and no cure for what ailed me.

So I began working my way through some emotions – fearful, blame-filled, disgusted, helpless, hopeless – until I got to ANGER. I was mad as hell that no one could help me, and that actually helped me plug into the determination to help myself BIG TIME.

I became a detective, a Health Detective. After all, I’d been a journalist, a writer, a producer – I knew how to ask and answer the 5 W’s. So here goes. Feel free as you read along to apply these questions to any challenge you may be facing at this time.

Question 1: WHO “done” it to whom? Me! I was the victim and the accomplice rolled into one. And, somehow, I had to learn to become the victor. Or, as I call it, I had to move from BLOCKED TO BLOCKBUSTER. The crime of Multiple Sclerosis had been committed against me. It had robbed me of my health, my hope, and my ability to focus on the subject of my choice. Now, I had to focus on it and WHY it had happened to me.

Question 2: WHY? Why was I numb from the waist down? Why had I lost my central vision? Why was I out of balance? Why did I experience an electric shock traveling down my spine whenever I looked down?

Could it be because I numbed myself in childhood not to feel the horror of my alcoholic father? Could it be that I trained myself from the age of 4 only to look straight ahead and to simply not see what I could not handle? Could it be that I lost my balance because my life had none? And, that electric shock – could it be that my central nervous system had short circuited – that it simply was refusing to send the messages I intended because it was frazzled out on overload?

YES, YES, YES, AND YES as far as I’m concerned.

Question 3: WHAT? Multiple Sclerosis that’s what! In a sense I had prepared myself emotionally all of my life to have multiple sclerosis. Instead of dealing with the heartaches, disappointments, losses, failures and fears of my life, I focused on WORK, WORK, WORK. So, the emotional wounds, I call them MULTIPLE SCARS, hung out in my body where eventually they could pair up with physical symptoms and make me very sick.

Question 4: WHERE was I when the symptoms attacked? My first symptom happened when I was driving back to the office from a stressful client meeting. I couldn’t see the center section of a billboard almost directly in front of me. As I sank into denial and pretended to see just fine, more symptoms joined the first. The harder I worked, the more symptoms that appeared. So, I got to work on a timeline to compare the where, what and when of my emotional life with my physical symptoms.

WHEN? Now! I had to find the motive now. Perhaps to save my life, to introduce me to love, to open my eyes to the world around me and outside of me, to guide me to a purpose in life…? I would not listen to my body. In fact, I hated my body for betraying me. My body was in my way.

And the weapon in the crime of MS? My own thoughts and emotions.

If I was going to get well from MS, I was going to have to become a detective and put the pieces of my life back together again. I had to find the answers tucked into the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY of my life – and as I did, my symptoms disappeared one by one.

I hated that the answers were inside of me and not in some magical outside source. But, now I love helping others learn to be the detective in their own lives to find the answer they seek regarding health, relationships, careers, finances and more.

Just as in an AD, when healthy bodies attack their own cells, often people attack themselves by not finding their own truth.

How many things do you carry inside of you that attack you? Ask a lot of questions and then ask some more. If you have trouble finding answers, then call on me, the Health Detective, symptom-free of MS for 20+ years. Your thoughts and emotions may not be the ONLY reason you have an illness, or other problems in your life, but no one knows how large of a part they play, and they are the only part of healing we can control. So I say, solve the crimes in your life by disarming the weapons your thoughts and emotions hold.

Note: Attend a free one-hour webinar that teaches 8 Block Busters for Mastering MS or other Autoimmune Diseases, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming your own Health Detective. (See related article in this issue)

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Jan
06

GOING TO

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What have you been saying for the longest time that you are “going to?”

Going to:

Call someone
Do something
Start a project
Lose weight
Change your hair
Get some new friends
Be a better ___________________
Save your money, make more money, invest your money…
Volunteer
De-clutter your life
Take an inventory

January is my favorite month of the year, because as it begins, I have renewed energy for my “going to” list. This year, however, I’m not “GOING TO” call it that. I’m simply calling it my DO LIST.

So often “Going to” is associated with the Sorceress Villain which means you are Going to when something else happens. When ____________, I’m GOING TO __________. The awful part is “When __________” never seems to happen and even if it does, there is another “When ____________” right after it.

We can solve that problem with a DO list which calls for immediate ACTION. When you catch yourself saying, “I’M GOING TO DO,” stop and reframe or rephrase. Verbalize your intention as an action statement in the here and now. You are not going to wait for anything. You are just DOING IT.

Another suggestion is to have a TO DO buddy. Choose someone you can promise and report to.

Just so there’s no confusion here are a few rewrites of weak “Going to” thoughts into strong action statements.

I am going to lose weight becomes I am losing weight this year.

I am going to get a job becomes I am getting a job and loving it.

I am going to improve my financial status becomes I am increasing my wealth by budgeting and investing.

I am going to improve my health becomes I am improving my health by adding exercise daily.

OK, now it’s your turn.

You will notice that in most of the above examples, I not only stated the intention in the present tense, but I also paired it with immediate action to take.

Do you see the weakness in the phrase “I’m going to do that”? It doesn’t say when, therefore, it can just be added to a never-ending list of guilt making GOING TO DO’S that never get done.

I ask you, “When are you going to do it?” And, I hope I’m hearing a chorus of answers that sound like this – I’m doing it NOW!!!

I leave you with this thought wrapped in a book recommendation. In the book HOW by Dov Seidman, President Bill Clinton’s Foreword included this thought about our mission as part of a global economy, “This new focus requires all of us to think about the how, and to find new ways to take action to solve the global issues that none of us can tackle alone.” So, whether as an individual or as part of the world community, I say, “Out with the “going to” It’s not about when it’s about HOW, and the time to do it is NOW.”

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Jan
05

THE SORCERESS – NO WAY

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Part 6 in a continuing series on Cindy’s employment search

The idea I was waiting on someone to save me would have been rejected outright prior to this journey. Hadn’t I elevated myself from an Associates degree from a community college into two of the top film schools in the nation? Didn’t I work hard, being the nicest person on the block so I could earn my space in this world? Hadn’t I run the lives of creative geniuses in business, never thinking the creative genius could be me? Since all are true, where’s my prize? In Los Angeles the fantasy that one will be discovered and plucked out of their current circumstance and gently placed in their rightful and dreamed of situation can happen. But when the hidden reliance on that low percentage occurrance secretly runs my life, I get nowhere. And nowhere is where I am.

The Sorceress. Perhaps the most vile and long-standing in my life, had me trapped in a fantasy world of “What If’s” and “If Only’s.” If blank happens, then I’ll be happy. If an outside source rescues me, then I’ll be saved (sentence lifted directly from Judith Parker Harris’ Secrets of Seven Villains).

Identifying the Sorceress felt like someone had just delivered some really bad news. Oh God, this can’t be. No one is going to find me and save me here in this warehouse? No, and for that matter, not anywhere. Only banishment to this desolate situation allowed the belief deep within my psyche to emerge. And there it was. Unless I do something different, nothing will change. Here, or anywhere.

This warehouse job is the physical manifestation of my villains: The Killer moved in and buried my creativity and joy and that’s just fine because the Saboteur told me lies. My screenplays were no good, my art too simple, my administrative skills lacking. The Bandit had me working harder than I ever had because hard labor is the only thing I can do. And now the Sorceress, and my dependence on someone or something to fix my circumstance.

You may be thinking this took eight months, really? And how old are you? I know one needs to be the hero in their own life, but I never saw how that applied to me. In my book I’d done my part, so why isn’t my life working? I submit that if you think me dull and dim witted to not see the obvious, and you base your judgement from your lofty and good position from which you operate, perhaps a few more stones over turned in your own life will push you from good to great. And from great to amazing. Now excuse me while I go do something productive for the future. My future. The one I really want.

JPH Note: Cindy’s struggle is classic and so is our own tendency to say, “Whew, I’m glad that’s not me,” all the while fearing our own villains and wondering just what they have in mind for us. Here’s the secret. Our villains are afraid we’ll find them. They hide behind our negative habits, patterns, routines and lessons that are impacting and sabotaging our lives today. When we start to change, the villains have no place to hide – so they run! That’s just where we want them, on the run, so we are free to embrace the life of our design, as opposed to a life full of other people’s programming. Even the Sorceress can’t stand the heat when we decide to wait no more for “If” to provide a miracle and instead move ahead to create our own magic. Take action every day and see how far you can move ahead this year.

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There is no more graphic example of sending cries for help than the tragedy of Michael Jackson’s death. Is not listening a crime? Is not doing what Michael needed most a crime? Should the tour have been cancelled? Should Michael’s health needs have come first? Should someone have done what Michael couldn’t do – stop the flow of drugs – stop the show?

How many signs did Michael Jackson need to send in order to be heard?

  • I’m anxious.
  • I need to sleep.
  • I’m in pain.
  • I need love. I need understanding.
  • I never had a childhood. I hurt so much.
  • Please, please, just help me sleep.
  • Give me more drugs. Give me peace from my stress.

Was it the tour? Did he think he couldn’t handle it?

Was it the financial pressure to succeed or bust?

Was it the huge number of people counting on him?

Was it that every body had so much to gain from Michael that they ignored every cry for help he shouted out?

There are many people other than Conrad Murray responsible for Michael Jackson’s death. Everyone who was within hearing distance of Michael’s cries for help holds a tiny bit of blame. Unfortunately, no one held on to Michael.

The lesson from this sad story is to listen to our loved ones – not just to their words. Listen to their actions, what they’re not doing or saying, but what they are acting out. Between the lines of pretend, try to find the truth. It could save a life.

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What’s your body telling you when it gets sick? As the BlockBuster Coach, one of the most common blocks I hear is the lament, “I need a sign.” My answer is, “You need another sign? Pay attention to the signs your body had been sending you for so long.”

Don’t you just hate it when you are told, “The answers you seek are already deep inside of you. All you have to do is access your own wisdom.” Well, I’m an expert on that one, in fact I’m quoting myself. My body had to go numb, become partially blind and lose its balance before I stopped in my tracks and said, “Hey, what are you trying to tell me?” I am certain that my body manifested Multiple Sclerosis to keep workaholism from killing me.

I didn’t see doors of opportunity, I saw dead ends. When I read this quote from Helen Keller, however, a little light went on. She said, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; But often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”

Was that true? Was I focusing on closed doors? I sure was. I held on to relationships that needed to end. I failed to replace employees who were not doing the job because I thought I could change them. My carefully designed “look” (hair, clothing style and make-up) hadn’t changed in 20 years. I had chronic bronchitis, constant exhaustion, two automobile accidents, but still I wasn’t listening — I was STUCK, and soon, my out-of-balance life caused me to go numb.

Listen for what, you may ask? Listen for the open doors. Here’s a little experiment you’ll find enlightening. Using the list of prompters below, list five signals your body (or life) sent you over the last month indicating that you needed to stop staring at a closed door and open a new one: Accident, Traffic Ticket, Anger, Depression, Lethargy, Fights, Drowsiness, Mistakes, Cravings, Urges, Longings, Memories, Family Trouble, Social ups & downs, Community, Stress, Discomfort, Illness, Sloppiness, Disrespect, No control.

Now that you have the five signals or messengers it’s time to connect the dots. Let’s say your signals are anger, a fender bender, mistakes at work, lack of control and fights. List them all on a piece of paper then play the detective game. What are the who, what, where, when and why of your signals.?Why are you angry? With whom are you really angry? Why were you not paying attention when driving? Why so many careless mistakes? What makes you feel out of control? Why the fights? What’s the point of them?

As you answer the questions, take a highlighter and underline what your answers have in common. See if the answers will lead you to a new intention – something you want to accomplish right now in your life, such as confront a friend, change your career, eat better, lose weight, face an unpleasant truth. When you define your intention, write down what you think is blocking you, such as fear of being alone, feeling unprepared, not “enough” of something, waiting for the right moment, being change-phobic… That will be your closed door! Once you’ve found the closed door, you can say good-bye forever, and walk through your open door – your intention.

Feel better? It’s called being conscious of why you do what you do when you do it. Look at your decisions, realize you have a choice, then make it. Conscious decisions will lead you through a lot of wonderful open doors. They lead me through the open door of daily multiple sclerosis wellness.

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Dear BlockBusters,

In the month of Thanksgiving, I’m dedicating this issue to the gratitude I feel for being symptom free of Multiple Sclerosis for 21 years. As many of you know, I’ve done this through employing many holistic techniques, and primarily through busting through the emotional and thought blocks that can add fuel to physical symptoms that are lurking in our systems waiting to be activated.

I have recorded a webinar that I’m offering “for free” so that cost cannot be a block to accessing the information. The webinar shares details on 8 of the methods I used to reclaim my health when MS struck. I still use these methods constantly to stay healthy. It’s called, 8 BLOCK BUSTERS FOR MASTERING MS.

This webinar is designed for anyone facing a major health issue as well as other types of challenges in your life. If the topic does not apply to you, please pass it on to a friend or family member who may be in the midst of a health, relationship or life crisis/transition of some kind. Every time I speak, I’d say one-third to one-quarter of my audience members come up to me afterwards and say “I know someone with MS – my sister, my uncle, my best friend has MS. How can I help them? My answer is, help me spread the word by passing the link to this webinar on to your circle of friends. There are things we can do to heal and to help our doctors help us, while science struggles to find a cure. Here is the registration link:

http://www.BlockedtoBlockBuster.com/mswebinar

The first article in this issue gives you an abridged version of the 8 BlockBusters included in the hour-long webinar. The second article teaches you how to pay attention to and decipher messages your own body may be trying to send you regarding potential illness or crisis. Blocks in the News, uses Michael Jackson as a tragic example of how EVERYONE ignored the signals Michael was sending.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Please enjoy my gift of the webinar and also let me know what you learned and how you will utilize the information. I treasure your feedback.

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Here Are 8 Block Busters To Help You Heal

In 1985 I was running a multi-million dollar advertising agency with healthcare clients throughout the United States. Suddenly I found myself numb from the waist down, partially blind and diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I was told I might spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair.

There were no medications to prescribe at the time, so I went in search of answers after I dealt with my panic and denial. I’ve been symptom-free since 1990. Here are 8 BlockBusters I know will aid your medical doctors in helping you live healthy with MS or other illness challenges.

Block Buster Number One: Learn from your Emotional Family Tree.

We’re all used to looking at our medical histories when we get sick. How about our emotional histories? What negative thoughts and emotions have you absorbed from others that might be negatively impacting your MS symptoms today?

Block Buster Number Two: Check in with your Inner wisdom/ Inner Child.

Your inner child is your creativity, your muse. Write your inner child and ask him or her – When did she first feel like you feel now as you face your MS diagnosis – scared, fearful, overwhelmed, out of balance, less then… Write a new script, let go of childhood lessons that may be holding you back, embrace what you need to learn.

Block Buster Number Three: Turn anger into action.

I was angry for a year after my diagnosis, until I realized that if I didn’t start dealing with my anger, the anger would increase my stress which would impact my symptoms. So, here’s the plan. You’ve got to FEEL IT , WRITE ABOUT IT, SHOUT IT OUT AND LET IT GO – then take a step forward in your life.

Block Buster Number Four: Find which one of 12 life areas holds your answer:

Work, Money, Love/Spousal Relationships, Friendships, Community, Environment, Family of Origin, Current Family, Parenthood, Play, Health and Spirituality/religion. Now rate these 12-life areas from 1 to 12 – 1 being the most time you spend on an area and 12 being the least. Then take the bottom 3 areas – 10, 11 and 12 and invest “a little” energy into each to bring them to life. You’ll be surprised what answers you find to your diagnosis

Block Buster Number Five: Make Conscious Choices to discover your power in life.

Do you have any idea how many choices you make every day –unconsciously? Whether to snack on celery sticks or ice cream, whether to take action on your diagnosis or numb out in front of the TV and stay in your uncomfortable comfort zone.

Slow down for a moment before each decision and realize you have the power to change. Of course you didn’t choose the MS diagnosis, but every choice you make from here on out can help your prognosis.

Block Buster Number Six: Here’s the 4-step Problem Solver Communication Strategy that will change your life whenever you face a conflict, argument or unsettling information.

  1. Open up – Open your heart to new information and ways of doing things.
  2. Keep your defenses down – Be aware of negative internal voices that keep you stuck in the past.
  3. Listen carefully to what your opponent is saying and make room for new understanding.
  4. Think about your strategy. ALL BEFORE TALKING.

Block Buster Number Seven – Choose Love Over Fear.

Love will be in the answer to the problem you are working on.

With love you create abundance, trust, joy. You have faith in your higher power, you perceive yourself as whole, forgiving, generous, creative. You are safe and there is enough.

With scarcity/FEAR, You feel deprived. You are always competing and losing, you feel attacked, There is not enough of anything in your life. Your behavior is self-defeating.

To release myself from the fear of MS, I had to rediscover passion, play, Persistence and my positive personality – all part of loving myself.

Block Buster number Eight: CONNECTION.

A disease diagnosis certainly disconnects us. It knocks us for a loop and threatens life as we knew it. The sooner we start re-Connecting, however, the sooner we will find answers unique to who we are. CONNECT WITH YOUR BODY Meditate, then ask your body, What do you want me to know? CONNECT WITH PEOPLE. Who do you admire? What helpful qualities do they have that you can emulate? CONNECT TO THE PROMISE OF YOUR SOLVED PROBLEM – THE SOLUTION – living healthy with MS.

There is nothing about my life today that is the same as in the year of my diagnosis thanks to the 6-letter word, CHANGE.

I go into depth on these Block Busters in a new, free webinar for people diagnosed with MS and other dis-eases. Find out more www.BlockedtoBlockbuster.com/mswebinar. Remember, take one little action every single day to improve the balance of your 12 life areas and feeling better will be your reward.

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Sep
30

Did A Block Just Bust?

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The following is another installment in a series by Cindy Baker Gilbert on searching for jobs in today’s depressed marketplace. This is a real time, real life example illustrating the above feature. Cindy is trying to make a living while trying to save her artistic and creative soul. She finds the time to dream of perhaps the very thing that may turn her life around. She also takes action steps to make the dream a reality and to bust her blocks so she’ll be prepared when the opportunity she’s envisioned finally steps up to embrace her.

After seven hours in the cold warehouse I can only lay on the ground and stare up through the cloudless haze at the black outline of vultures circling. This is hard country. A place that chews up people through minimum wage jobs, securing a cap on their imaginations and dreams of ever being anything other than what they are, if they’re not careful. I wave an arm to let the death birds know I am okay, but they don’t listen. My muscles have reached their failure point. Waiting for my ride home I recall ideas that came out in my writing this morning. Ideas that have nothing to do with our current situation. We have bigger issues right now than to save the world. True. But what came out was:

A new paradigm for living: A way for people to have a good quality of life despite the economic downturn. Maybe based on the UCLA Co-op where I lived when I first came to Los Angeles. Those “student amenity” levels would not do for more mature folks who are used to a better way of living. But something similar. Not a commune. Not a hippie, pot-smoking situation. Everyone has a four-hour weekly work shift, the cost to live there minimal. Maybe one of the work shifts teaches computer skills for the coveted “Powerpoint and Outlook” job market and one teaches trading the stock market in addition to all the maintenance and cooking. A place for people to rehab and regroup. From being laid off, from ripping through their savings, from bad credit that prohibits future prospects of housing. Out of the millions of the unemployed, maybe someone you know.

Then there’s the “Take it or Leave It Art” – Art placed in a public area with a note to “Take it or leave it for others to enjoy.” Maybe silkscreen on canvas. What if you walked down the street and saw a piece of art you liked with that note? Would you take it? Would you leave it? Would it make you think, maybe smile?

All this does nothing for me right now. But I watched the whales on television being saved and then the starving people in Somalia burst into my living room. Yes, there is great need on this planet. But how can I make America a better place? What can I do for humans right here at home?

Maybe all this worry about not enough money to maintain the status quo is for naught. Maybe change on every level is coming. Rather, has come. And all this is the best thing that ever happened to everyone even though we don’t yet understand. This thing that makes us reach within ourselves, bust through our blocks and deliver ideas that inspire and change. Because when perspective changes, the view changes. When the view changes, new opportunities present themselves

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Sep
30

Make Your Life Work Today

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My goal in writing my column this month is to give everyone a hand up, a light at the end of the tunnel, an inspirational jolt and a battery recharge.

How? By inspiring you to change what’s not working in your life, because that just might get your life back to working!

Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend say, ” We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing.”

Does it hurt enough yet? Does it hurt enough to wake up every morning and focus on your intention for that day, and then to take action to make it happen? Because, that’s what you have to do. I sit with client after client who complain about the work it takes to change. They come back, week after week without doing the homework I give them. Then, one day, they get it. They get that when you do the work, things change. And, the more they change, the more enjoyable the work they must do becomes.

The bottom line is that you must have a goal or intention and you must be ruthlessly committed to making it happen. The commitment to your goal is fundamental. When you truly commit to a goal, you open up your mind to finding the means to achieve that end. The key words here are OPEN UP, because closed minds leave no room for good news or change. The closed mind is filled with a negative chorus of reasons why you can’t. Fire the chorus – it’s time for your solo.

OPEN UP to the reasons why you can.

Here’s the truth that makes my clients groan; the answer you seek regarding the means to achieve your goal is already inside of you, It’s just buried underneath all of the baggage you bring to this day from however many years old you are. Lose your baggage, and you will find your answer.

This may take a major attitude adjustment, because you have to reconnect with what makes you unique, and we are all unique. As one of the top motivational speakers in the industry, Zig Zigler says, “You cannot consistently perform in a manner that is inconsistent with the way you see yourself”

So, how do you see yourself? Let’s go on a little exploration of that. This is your homework, if you will. Answer all the questions below:

  1. What is the most important thing for me to accomplish today?
  2. What actions will I take to achieve that intention?
  3. How will this help my overall goal in life at this time?
  4. How do I perceive myself as the person who will achieve that goal?
  5. How do other’s perceive me?
  6. Do I need to change any of my own perceptions?

Finally, I’d like you to write a paragraph that includes your thoughts and feelings about already having achieved your goal.

How does it feel?

How do you feel about yourself now?

Let me give you one more clue that will help you achieve your intention everyday. It will also help you connect with your unique self. This clue comes from Walt Disney, who said, “Observe the masses and do the opposite.”

Stop watching the news with its daily dose of fear mongering. Stop engaging with the angry masses and their fear prognostications. Don’t let anyone cast a negative shadow over you based upon how they see you. Bad news is for other people. You are going to grab on to your unique self and show the world what you have to offer. You are an answer to someone else’s problem and that knowledge will help you achieve your intention while enjoying the process.

Now, do your homework!

(And, I’d love you to share your comments with me.)

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