Archive for May, 2011

Essential Mental Skill #2

Yesterday, we began exploring the mental skills we need to fulfill our deeper purpose and realize our soul’s desires. The first skill we identified was “staying focused,” being persistent in the pursuit of our goals. What differentiates those who succeed from those who don’t is that they don’t give up on what they are here to do.

The second skill is self-observation—the ability to step back and witness your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

No matter what you want to do in this life, to do it well, you need to become aware of how you are thinking, feeling, and acting. You need to be able to see what you are doing that moves you forward and what you are doing that holds you back. This practice is elusively simple, yet challenging.

To begin, take note of what your mind tells you when you go to pursue your goals and dreams. What words float through your head? What thoughts come up when you run into obstacles? What does your mind tell you about yourself and the world? What does your mind tell you about what is real and possible? Is your mind a cheerleader or an inquisitor?

Second, how do these thoughts make you feel?

Third, what do these thoughts and feelings prompt you to do?

In tomorrow’s post, we’ll talk about what to do with what you discover—especially if you don’t like what you find. There’s one simple skill that will help you move through those things that hold you back.

Kevin

Kevin Schoeninger

P.S. Meditation is a powerful practice to develop your self-observation skills. Learn more here: “Secrets of Meditation

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Is Your Mind Working With You?

You have good intentions. What keeps you from following through? Do you have a variety of thoughts each heading in their own direction? Do you find obstacles that make you doubt your resources or your abilities? Do you see what can go wrong at every turn?

The key to effectively following through is to be able to stay focused on your goal while making adjustments as you learn more along the way. To do that well you need your mind to work with you.

You need mental skills to fulfill your soul’s desires. Once your soul identifies what is important, once it gives you a vision of value, meaning, and purpose, your mind is the manager in charge of getting the task done. What are the skills of a good manager?

First and foremost a manager takes a big picture view and keeps the goal in sight. Then, a manager designs a plan and manages the details of that plan. Finally, a manager handles the unexpected, the obstacles that arise and the doubts and detours that come up as a result of those obstacles. A manager keeps the whole team moving forward by keeping them focused on the necessary tasks at hand. That manager is your mind.

To manage your life well requires strong mental skills. Fortunately all of these skills can be learned. If you’re not living the life your soul desires, training your mind is a good place to begin. In this week’s posts, we’ll explore five essential mental skills and how you can grow these skills through one simple daily practice.

The first skill is staying focused on what your soul desires. The number one thing that keeps most people from not realizing what they truly desire is giving up. What separates those who are living their dreams and fulfilling their greater purpose is persistence. If you listen to most people who have become successful, you’ll find that they were rejected or overcame countless obstacles all along the way.

It’s not that those folks don’t have doubts, or that they haven’t faced adversity. If anything, they’ve probably experienced more than their share. The most definitive trait successful people have in common is persistence—staying focused on what they are here to do and sticking with it.

What is it that you want to create in your life? It doesn’t have to be something big or flashy. It doesn’t have to seem like much in the eyes of the world. But it does have to “light your fire.” What is it that gives you that spark? Have you let it go and resigned yourself to something less than that? If so, consider that you may just need to get back on focus, stick with it, and make it a top priority in your life.

Kevin

Kevin Schoeninger

P.S. The Life You Are Meant to Live Program empowers you with insights and skills to fulfill your purpose and live your dreams

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The Instant Stress Reducer

Let’s wrap up our week exploring stress reduction with the simplest and most effective way to instantly break through those cycles of stress—exercise. It doesn’t have to be high-intensity, all-out, P90X-type exercise, just getting up and moving–moderate exercise.

In the moments of intense time pressure that often accompany stress, you may think that you just don’t have time for it. However, there’s really no better time to exercise than when you’re totally stressed out.

In the heat of stress, you’re probably not functioning at your best. You may find yourself reactive and not thinking clearly. You may not be able to see the best alternatives or feel able to choose them. Stress actually inhibits your higher brain centers from coming on line.

A short exercise break can calm your nervous system, energize your body and brain, and clear your mind for what you’ve got to get done. It can be as simple as taking a ten-minute walk outside. Walk at a pace that elevates your heart-rate and deepens your breathing slightly. Look up at the sky and take in the environment around you. Give your mind a break from figuring things out as you move your body.

I’ve often found that great insights and solutions come naturally while I’m taking walks. Also, when I get back to what I have to do, I’m more relaxed, centered, and focused.

When you exercise, your brain and body get more oxygen. You pump stagnant blood back to your lungs for refueling. You release the static tension in your muscles, you stimulate the production of energy at a cellular level, and you even stimulate neuro-genesis, the creation of new brain cells. At the same time, your body produces positive neuro-chemicals called “endorphins” that boost your mood—even better than anti-depressants or stimulants and with only positive side-effects.

Most importantly, exercise breaks the damaging neurological groove of your stress response and initiates your body’s natural recovery mode—the relaxation response.

No matter what time you choose to exercise, find some time for a little movement every day. Starting your day with exercise can put you in a great mood and set the stage for better management of all the things you have to do. Consider taking short exercise breaks during your day and/or ending particularly stressful days with a good workout.

Though you might not feel like exercising when you are wound up in stress mode, once you get into it for even a few minutes, you’ll be glad you did.

Enjoy!
Kevin

Kevin Schoeninger

P.S. To learn more about how exercise can powerfully affect your ability to attract what you want in your life, check out this report: “The Unexplored Parallel”

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