I Think I Can

Guest Quote: Calvin Coolidge

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Geniuses will not; unrewarded geniuses is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” Calvin Coolidge

Calvin is RIGHT! Talent, education and genius are nice if you have them, but SUCCESS comes from perseverance.

From going back into battle again, and again, and again, and then again.

Let’s take internet marketing. When I started with that, coming up for ten years ago, there were loads of people around then, just as there is now. Ten years on, and out of everyone I knew back then, I am the only one still standing!

I was utterly hopeless back then and still am not exactly a “born marketer”, but you just CAN’T do ANYTHING AT ALL for that long and NOT get reasonably good at it!!

So today, I want you to use our 60 seconds of thinking of something you tried at one time, didn’t succeed and gave it up for a lost cause. Something, that if you had another go and managed to get even a little bit further would seriously help you get wealthy, powerful and happy – right now.

“You’re not out for the count until you’re dead” – SFX

From:

Walking On Water

I found this article at Mark and Angel, and it intrigued me quite a bit. I’m not sure that I agree with him, and I’m not even sure if it’s a true story or not. It did, however get me thinking about how my belief system affects my outcomes. So, here it is:

This past Sunday I was relaxing at the water’s edge of a local beach when a young boy ran full speed right by me and into the shallow surf. He continuously hopped up and down as he was running forward, kicking his little legs in the air and across the surface of the water before inevitably falling face-first into the waves. He got back up and repeated this act several times, each time with more determination than the previous attempt. It became obvious that he was trying to run across the surface of the water. I couldn’t help but to laugh. His combined levels of determination and exertion were priceless.

After several attempts, he noticed my laughter and walked over to me. “What’s so funny?” he asked.

“You remind me of me, and it makes me smile.” I said.

“Do you know how to walk on water?” he asked. “Like a superhero?”

“Well, I think I can help you out.” I said. “Let me give you a few pointers.”

Curious, the boy sat down on the sand next to me. His mother scurried over, worried… but I reassured her that her son wasn’t bothering me. Relieved, perhaps, to have her son sitting safely on the sand instead of flying face-first through the air, she went back to her beach chair 20 feet away and continued a conversation with another lady.

“So, you want to walk on water, eh?” I asked. He nodded his head anxiously.

A Rough Summary of What I Told Him

  • Make sure you were born to walk on water.

You must follow your heart, and be who you were born to be. Some of us were born to be musicians… to communicate intricate thoughts and rousing feelings with the strings of a guitar. Some of us were born to be poets… to touch people’s hearts with exquisite prose. Some of us were born to be entrepreneurs… to create growth and opportunity where others saw rubbish. And still, some of us were born to walk on water… to invent the capability of doing so. If you’re going to walk on water, you better feel it in every fiber of your being. You better be born to do it!

  • Decide that nothing can stop you.

Being born to walk on water isn’t enough by itself. We must each decide to accept our calling. Unfortunately, most of us make excuses instead. “But I might drown trying,” we say. Or, “But I have a family to think about first.” Walking on water, or doing anything that hasn’t been done before, requires absolute, unconditional dedication. The only person who can control your level of dedication is you. If you’re serious about walking on water, you must decide that nothing… not gravity, not a group of naysayers, NOTHING… can stop you!

  • Work on it for real.

While many of us decide at some point during the course of our lives that we want to answer our calling… to accomplish our own version of walking on water, only an astute few of us actually work on it. By “working on it”, I mean truly devoting oneself to the end result. The rest of us never act on our decision. Or, at best, we pretend to act on it by putting forth an uninspired, half-ass effort. But to truly walk on water, you’ll have to study physics, rheology, hydrophobic substances, etc… and then you’ll have to define and redefine next-generation theories and complex hypotheses, which must be tested relentlessly. When the tests fail, you must be ready to edit your theories and test them again. This kind of work, the real kind, is precisely what enables us to make the impossible possible.

  • Let the whole world know what you’re up to.

When you’re trying to walk on water, or do anything that nobody else has done before, life can get lonely pretty quickly. To keep your motivation thriving, it’s important to let others know that you’re attempting to defeat the formerly impossible. Don’t be shy! Let the whole world know that you’re trying to walk on water. No doubt, it’ll place a bit of extra pressure on your back, and you’ll almost certainly hear some laughter in the crowd. But this kind of pressure fuels motivation, which is exactly what you’ll need to accomplish such a colossal undertaking. And when you finally do succeed, the last bit of laughter heard will be your own.

  • Value the people who value your ambitions.

When most people hear about your “mission impossible” aspirations, their natural reaction may be to roll their eyes, call you crazy, and tell you to quit being foolish. But fortunately, the world is also inhabited by pioneers and believers who see the value in your dreams. These people understand that achieving the formerly impossible is one of the greatest gifts human beings possess. They’ll likely give you tips, bits of assistance, and the extra push you need to succeed. These are extraordinary people, and you’ll want to surround yourself with them, because they will ultimately assist you over the hurdles and across the surface of the water. Think of them as an influential, personal support team. Without them, walking on water will be a far more difficult feat, if not completely impossible.

  • Ignore the negative naysayers.

No matter how much progress you make, there will always be the people who insist that walking on water is impossible, simply because it hasn’t been done before. Or they may incessantly suggest that the idea as a whole is utterly ridiculous because nobody really cares about walking on water anyways. When you come across these people, don’t try to reason with them. Instead, forget that they exist. They will only waste your time and energy.

  • Prepare yourself for the pain.

Even though you’re no longer mindlessly running face-first into the oncoming ocean surf, but instead forming complex theories based on the studies of rheology and fluid viscosity, it doesn’t mean you won’t experience your fair share of pain. You’re in the business of walking on water, of doing something that has never been done before. You’ll likely get a waterlogged, lungful of water on a regular basis. But the pain will seem like a small price to pay when you become the first person to jog across the rapids of the Mississippi.

  • Enjoy the pain of your greatest challenge.

Superheroes aren’t real. In real life nobody has ever walked on water. But lots of people have achieved formerly impossible feats, and continue to enjoy the possibilities of new challenges. These people will all tell you there’s nothing more gratifying than the thrill of your greatest challenge. The inherent pains along the way are simply mile markers on your trip to the finish line. When you finally do finish, you may actually find yourself missing the daily grind. Ultimately, you’ll realize that pleasure and pain can be one and the same.

  • Never give up! Never quit!

The reason nobody has walked on water isn’t because people haven’t tried. Remember, you just tried several times in a row, and I’m sure many others have too. The reason nobody has succeeded is, simply, that within the scope of modern science and physics, it’s currently impossible. But this doesn’t mean that with your help it won’t become possible in the future. If you were born to do it and truly dedicate yourself to the end result, anything, including walking on water, is entirely possible!

Just a Chance

When we were done talking, the young boy got up and ran back over to his mother. He pointed over to me and I smiled and waved back. Then he said to her, “Mommy, mommy! That guy just taught me how to walk on water!”

A few moments later she walked over to scold me for supposedly giving out reckless advice. She told me I was giving her son a false sense of hope. I told her all I was giving him was a chance.

Getting Started Is Everything

From Life Hacker, we have this article on getting started:

Nothing’s better than sinking your teeth into a satisfying after-hours side project—or what I guess most people may just call a hobby. But after 10 hours at work, it’s not always easy to muster the energy to switch off your TV and go to work on your project. The trick I use is simple, self-evident, and it works. Getting started is everything.

Here’s a scenario ripped from the headlines (of my life):

It’s a Wednesday night. I’m exhausted from a bad night of sleep and a long day of work. I’m hungry, so I make some food and eat while catching up on an episode of Fear The Walking Dead (which is relatively awful). I eat, I finish the episode, and suddenly all the momentum I’d planned to carry into working on my side project that night has seeped out of my pores, absorbed by couch cushions. Shit.

Shit.

Maybe, instead of working on my passion project, I should just keep catching up on Fear The Walking Dead, even though I’m not actually enjoying it! I’m already convinced that continuing on my current self-destructive downward spiral is the only option I’ve got the energy for, so this seems like the inevitable outcome of my night.

But damn it, I should really do some work. It’s not even work. It’s a hobby I enjoy—far more than I enjoy watching a show about zombies that’s actually a tedious soap opera that happens to occasionally have a zombie in it. And I know that tomorrow, I’ll absolutely regret that I spent hours watching people argue about how to be civilized when zombies want to eat you instead of actually making something.

At this point, I make a deal with myself that makes all the difference. I’ve finished eating, and I’ve finished the episode I watched with dinner. Instead of jumping into the next episode, I convince myself to spend ten minutes on my project. Just ten minutes. Enough time to accomplish one small task. Then, after that ten minutes is up, I can go back to zombies, guilt-free, if I so choose.

The beautiful thing is, I almost never do. Getting started is everything, and once I’ve accomplished one small task, I’m ready (and excited) to tackle another. And another. And that’s how, instead of wasting my night on TV that I’m not that into, I actually get something done.

It doesn’t always work that way, but it doesn’t have to. Even if all I did was ten minutes of work and then went back to zombies (which happens on occasion), I still knocked out one small task. But more often than not, finishing 10 minutes of work launches me into an enjoyable hour or two of progress. Better luck next time, zombies.

This isn’t a new idea by any means, but having successfully employed it recently, I felt like talking about it. If you’ve got your own tried and true method for getting to work when you’re not exactly excited bursting with energy or overflowing with excitement at the prospect, we’d love to hear it in the comments.

When Your Goal Is Impossible

When I was researching inspirational, motivational stuff to encourage us as we work on this project, I found a short article about a movie about survival, grit, determination, and a refusal to give up. It’s about a plane carrying an Uruguayan rugby team went down in the Andes mountains 38 years ago.

The film brings to life the experiences of 29 people who survived the crash and struggled to remain alive in the snow and freezing temperatures of the Andes for three interminably long months. An avalanche takes the lives of eight of them one morning. Five others die from their injuries and exposure during the ordeal. After learning by radio that efforts to find them had been called off, two of the survivors set out on an impossible odyssey to breach the Andes and send a rescue team back.

At one point during their quest one of them calls to his friend, “Come up here, man, you’ve got to see this, it’s beautiful.” The audience thinks he sees civilization. The camera pans to his view to show a nauseating infinity of snow-capped mountain peaks. No end in sight.

His friend says, “We’re going to die up here.” And the other replies, “Do you know what it is that we made it this far? It’s impossible, that’s what it is. If we’re going to die, we’re going to die walking.”

They breach the Andes. They find their way to the green valleys of Chile and make contact with the outside world. The closing scene of the film is of the survivors hearing helicopter engines and then seeing the choppers come into full view, with the two friends that saved them waving from inside.

I found the full version of the movie on YouTube, in case anyone wants to watch it. There’s also a book, it’s Miracle in the Andes by Nando Parrado.

Derailed?

Am I the only one having trouble getting their goals accomplished?

Yesterday, I found myself wishing that I could do a system reset, and go back in time and have a goal of 20 minutes a day on the treadmill … or I dunno… getting a bunch of work done on my website … or … something else… anything else!

So, if I’m not alone in my struggle… here’s what I have to say to us.

  • What you resist persists.
  • Sometimes the only way out is through.
  • Just do it!

Just Do It!

It has been my experience with the Prosperity Project, that somewhere around day 10 or 11, I begin to lose my excitement, my enthusiasm, my drive. I also tend to procrastinate, and have a history of completing projects and tasks at the last conceivable moment. I’m probably not the only one, so I’ve brought Shia LeBeouf in to give us a talking to:

I also found this one. “I’m sorry Shia,
I’m afraid I can’t do that.
LOL”

LOL
So, are we motivated now?

Oops! Where did the day go?

I found this great article on procrastination at Psychology Today.

When it comes to self-sabotage, procrastination is king. Why? Because procrastination is the gap between intention and action, and it is in this gap that the self operates. The undermining behavior lies in not closing the gap.

We make an intention to act, the time comes, but instead of acting we get lost in our own deliberation, making excuses to justify an unnecessary and potentially harmful delay. Who makes this decision? We do. The self, in fact, sabotages its own intention.

You would think life would be easier, that the reasons and desires that motivate our intentions would also be sufficient to motivate action. But they’re not. If they were, we would be machines and there would be no such thing as volition. The self must choose to act. As conscious beings, we can not escape the self choosing what to do.

We think of procrastination as an irrational delay because our reasons for action simply aren’t sufficient to motivate action. More accurately, procrastination is a-rational, without reason—because the real issue is emotional. Although we may know intellectually what we ought to do right now, we don’t feel like doing it. So we focus on short-term mood repair: Feel good now, worry about that intention later. Short-term gain, long-term pain.

With procrastination, we delay taking action longer than we know we should. In the case of chronic procrastination, we waste time that we can’t afford to waste. We can actually wind up wasting our whole lives.

There are three basic reasons we procrastinate:

One:

We most commonly procrastinate on things we find aversive. We put off things we don’t like to do or that upset us in some way. Which makes sense—except that in life, we regularly face tasks we’d rather not do but really have to do. So the first thing we need to do is recognize that our procrastination is all about what psychologists Dianne Tice and Ellen Bratslavsky have called “giving in to feel good.”

A challenging or aversive task at hand makes us feel uncomfortable. We don’t want to tolerate the negative emotions. We want to feel good now. So we give in to feel good by putting off the task. In the end, however, the delay sabotages our long-term goals.

Two:

Second, we often procrastinate because our intentions are anemic—vague and weak. Of course, for some, ill-defined intentions are part of the problem, part of the self-sabotage. We don’t really feel like doing the task, so we make vague declarations like “I’ll get to that this week” or “I’ll do that later.” It’s impossible to regulate behavior against such a poorly defined standard.

Three:

Third, we’re easily distracted, and some of us are highly impulsive. “It will take me only a minute to check my email, update my Facebook page, find the recipe, read that blog….” Oops, where did the day go?

In a world dictated increasingly by the economics of attention, we have to be careful where we invest ourselves. There are only so many minutes in a day, in a lifetime, to which we can give attention. The whole world is competing for our attention with marketing designed especially for each of us. It’s personal, seductive, and distracting.

Self-deception is the handmaiden of procrastination. We don’t feel like acting now, but we don’t like the tension or dissonance it creates in us. So, we deceive ourselves—or try to (the guilt of procrastination indicates that self-deception isn’t always effective).

We tell ourselves, “I’ll feel more like it tomorrow” or make anemic intentions, or don’t remove distractions that we know undermine our work. We create little white lies as we wait for the muse to inspire us or the right mood to motivate us. But deep down we know they’re excuses. To end the self-sabotage of procrastination, it’s essential to stop the self-deception.

Overcoming Procrastination

One of the simplest and most effective solutions is to just get started—anywhere on a task. The moment you think “I’ll feel more like doing this later” or “I work better under pressure,” recognize that you’re just about to procrastinate—to give in to feel good.

Don’t think too far ahead. Just aim for a little progress. Research indicates that establishing a low threshold to task engagement fuels motivation and changes perception of the task. You’ll find it’s not as bad as you thought, and “a task begun is a task half done!”

How to transform feeble intentions into effective plans for real action? We need to move past general goal intentions to specific intentions for action: “In situation X, I will do behavior Y to achieve sub-goal Z.”

Such predecision to act increases success by shifting the cue for action to the environment. When situation X arises, we don’t have to rely on further thought and planning; it’s more about responding. Tell yourself exactly when and where you will act.

The solution to distraction lies in recognizing what distracts us and then either deciding to eliminate the menace (“Shut off Facebook while I’m at the computer”) or declaring an intention to indulge it at a specific time once some work gets done. Again, research indicates that a little strategic planning helps “pre-empt that which tempts!”

Acting in a timely manner on tasks requires active choice and the exercise of will. Recognize the enemy within and you’ll move forward doing what you intended, becoming the person you want to be.

LOL!

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