Wednesday, 30 December 2015

New Beginnings

Have you ever looked at yourself, who you are and the life you are living, and said "I wish things were different!"?  If so, then this article is for you.  Things can be different.  All you have to do is find out what you want and then start working towards it.

Start with a blank sheet of paper.  Forget about all the baggage you have and start writing about the person you would like to be and how you would like to live.  Don't think about any of the negative, the hurdles, the things that currently stop this happening.  Just write down how you would really like things to be.

At first you may find yourself sitting there, pen in hand, a blank sheet in front of you, and no idea what to write.  Don't worry, that is very common.  For some people it may be that they really don't know what they want.  For others it may be they want so much they don't know where to begin.

If you simply don't know where to begin, then simply start writing.  It doesn't matter where you begin.  Just capture all those thoughts as they come to you and write them down.

If your mind is a complete blank, then just sit quietly for a while thinking about nothing at all.

You may find a trickle of thoughts about what you want begin when you do this.  If so, start writing them down as they come to you.  If the trickle turns into a gush, keep weriting, and if it seems too powerful a gush then don't worry but simply do what I have said a couple of paragraphs above.  Sometimes, though, the trickle will peter out.  Don't worry, just repeat the exercise with a still mind and keep repeating it until either you have a full page or the gush begins.

Some people will find even when they sit quietly for a few minutes no ideas at all come to mind.  If this happens to you, don't panic.  Quiet your mind again and then think back to all the times you were really happy.  Go right back through your life as far as you can remember.  Don't write anything at this point.  Just keep remembering those good times.  Start to feel them rather than just remember them.  Feel a warm glow starting deep inside and then filling you as you add more and more of those good times.  It is almost like building a fire within yourself, a fire bursting with joy.  Then, while you are on fire with those memories, start writing them down on one sheet of paper.  When that paper is full, take another piece of paper and use this to write down what you want to be.  Use those memories to help you, but now you are writing about what you want to be and your life to become rather than what has happened in the past.

When you have filled your paper with future goals, go through it and find the ones that seem most important to you.  Be careful when doing this.  You are not choosing the goals you feel you should have but the ones that really resonate with you.  Many people find this quite a surprising exercise, with goals that they would never have considered previously coming right to the top of the list.  Don't lose the list, as you will need to come back to it later - perhaps even years later.  But take two or three of the main goals, or maybe half a dozen or so, depending on the nature of those goals, and write them down on a separate sheet of paper.  Don't write them as a future goal but as something already achieved.  For example, if you want to be really fit and healthy you should write "I am really fit and healthy", not "I want to be really fit and healthy".

Focus on each of those key goals.  Think about steps you can take now to get closer to them.  Notice I have not said "to reach them".  Just "to get closer to them".  If you think hard there will always be steps you can take towards your dream, even if that dream seems impossible at the moment.

And that is how you create a new beginning.  It is not rocket science.  Every day is really a new beginning if you are open to the right leadings from within.  I hope I have inspired you to take those important steps in the right direction so that you too can have a fresh start, a real new beginning.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The Magic of Christmas

A few weeks ago I wrote about egregores.  If you have not read this yet or need a quick refresher you can find it here:

As mentioned in that article, an egregore is a thought form created by a group of people aligned in a particular direction.  It can be good or bad.  The larger the group who have created and feed it, and the more closely they are aligned, the more powerful it becomes.

It is now time for you to start using the power of an egregore in your personal development.

The magical power of the Christmas spirit is enormous.  This thought form has been fed for hundreds of years by millions of people.  It is also especially pure, with much of its power derived from innocent young people.  People who want to believe in the magic of Christmas.  A magic that is closely linked to feelings of love, joy, kindness, compassion and goodwill.

You do not need to be a Christian in order to align yourself with this immensely powerful spirit and to benefit from that alignment.  Of course, if you are a Christian you will find it easier to do so, but this spirit is so powerful you can tap into it and align yourself with it even if you are from a different religious persuasion or have no religious belief at all.

By aligning yourself with the Christmas spirit you will not only be helping yourself and those around you, but will also be adding greater power to that spirit.

How can you align yourself to a thought form like the Christmas spirit?  It is remarkably easy.  Begin first with the symbols associated with it.  These will probably vary according to your background culture.  In the west, images of snow, holly, mistletoe and Santa Claus are good symbols to begin with.  Also Christmas carols and other Christmas music.  Focus on these symbols, perhaps having Christmas music playing in the background.  As you do so, start to feel love for all mankind.  Let that feeling grow.  Feel grateful for all the gifts you have been given.  Not simply in a materialistic way, but also for the gifts of love others have given you.  Allow these feelings and emotions to fill you.

You can also help this process along by reading books with a Christmas focus, for example "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens, or watching "Christmassy" films.

Allow these feelings to build within you as Christmas day approaches.  But when Christmas is over, don't simply allow the feelings to disappear, as so many do.  Don't let there be an anti-climax to your Christmas this year.  Instead, make the Christmas spirit part of your every day attitude to life.  I don't mean keep singing Christmas carols and leave your Christmas decorations up all year.  But hold within you the true spirit of Christmas.  Each year, add to it by following the above exercise again, but also each year keep within you more and more of the true spirit of Christmas.

I wish you a Merry Christmas, and I wish you the love, joy and compassion that comes when you truly embrace the Christmas spirit!

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Personal Development Tips

I am often asked if I have any tips I can give on how best to organize personal development.

The field is massive, and there are so many things you can do!

Try to begin with the end in mind.  I say "try" as the reality is none of us really knows where we will end up, and usually when you look back after many years of personal development you realize the journey has been quite different from what you initially envisaged.  But it is important at the outset at least to have a rough idea of what your goal may be.  Without knowing that you will not really know the direction you should be going, and without knowing the direction you will probably choose the wrong tools.  It would be a bit like starting on a journey, trying to follow a map, but not actually knowing where you want to go!  So spend some time thinking about what you want to become.  No limits.  Write down all your ideas as they come to you.  Then when you have enough written down try to feel which ones seem right for you.  This should help identify the right direction of travel for you.

When you are thinking about what you want to become, don't be frightened of aiming for the stars.  We are all made of star dust anyway, so aim for those stars!

That's for the big picture.  Long term, don't accept any limitations.  There are no limitations.  Or, rather, the only limitations are the ones you create for yourself.

Now you know where you are headed, start to think about the steps you can take to move in that direction.  These can be very small steps.  In fact, they should be.  They are things you know you can achieve.  You probably have no idea how you are eventually going to reach your long term goal, but that doesn't matter, as you will eventually reach it if you keep taking the right steps in that direction.

Keep an open mind.  You never know when the next opportunity is going to knock or which direction it will come from.  Often it is entirely unexpected.  Also opportunities will often appear and you will fail to spot them.  Do not be discouraged by this.  The more you open your mind, the more you get focused on what it is you want to achieve, the easier it will be to start spotting those opportunities.  You will certainly miss some, but that is not the end of the world as (contrary to what you may have read) similar opportunities will arise again.

Join groups of similarly minded people.  Ideally they will be people nearby, but this is not essential.  If there are no such groups near you then look for "virtual" groups on the internet.  Gain both encouragement and new ideas from the groups.  Ask others what tools they have used to achieve their results.  You will be surprised at how much information you can get and how helpful those new friends can be.

The corollary is to avoid, where possible, people who try to discourage you and tell you that you will never achieve what you are trying to achieve.  There are many such people around, and they are really toxic.  You do not have to put up with this - just avoid them.

A lot of what you need will be available for free.  Take advantage of this.  You will be amazed at just how much good free information is out there.  If you subscribe to my newsletters you will find masses of such free help, as I spend a lot of time looking at what is available and finding out what is the most helpful.  If you have not already subscribed, go to right now to claim some free personal development e-books and join my newsletter list.

What you will also find, though, is that as you start to develop in a particular direction you will probably have to start paying for further help.  View this not as a cost but as an investment.  The most important investment you will ever make - an investment in you, your future, and your happiness.  I recommend you start keeping aside 10% of whatever you earn to use as an investment in you.  Start right now, before you even know what you will need to invest in - put this money aside, hopefully earning a bit of interest, so it is ready to use when you need it.

Don't get confused by the huge variety of material out there.  Often you will find very similar systems offered by different people and organizations, all promising to help you reach your goals.  As long as the system is good, just go with whichever feels right to you.  There are many paths to the same destination.  As for whether or not it is good, do some research first.  Or let someone prominent in the field search through everything and come up with selective recommendations - which is what I do for my subscribers.

Enjoy your journey.  Remember that you will never reach the end, as your goal will start to change as you begin the journey and well before you reach it you will find you have come up with more goals even further ahead.  So take pleasure from the journey itself - otherwise, what is the point?

Finally, do not become discouraged.  I can promise you there will be setbacks.  That is simply a part of the rich tapestry of life.  Accept the setback, see what you can learn from it (that is very important!) and then move on.  If you adopt this attitude then even the setbacks can be regarded as an essential part of the great journey you are taking, as they teach you essential lessons.

Wherever your personal development journey is taking you, bon voyage!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Why be grateful?

Why be grateful?

Some may think I am a bit late writing about gratitude and should have done so a couple of weeks ago on Thanksgiving.  But I avoided doing so quite deliberately.  It is very easy for us to restrict positive feelings and actions to certain seasons and then ignore them for the rest of the year.  Some of my readers who are in the United States may do that with giving thanks on Thanksgiving.  Some of my Christian readers may do that with a whole range of positive feelings and actions, including gratitude, at Christmas.  And some of my Muslim readers may do something similar during Ramadan.

Gratitude is not simply for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Ramadan.  It should be something we all practice every day.

When I asked the question "why be grateful?", how did that make you feel?  I would expect many readers immediately to think of things for which they are very grateful, even if it is "only" for the gift of life.  But others may have felt something negative.  We all experience low periods in our lives at some point, and if I happened to catch you in a low point in your life you may have reacted by thinking of all the bad things that have happened to you recently.  You may be tempted to say something like "it's all very well for you to tell me I should be grateful, but you don't know what I am going through right now!".  If that is you, let me say that you are quite right.  I do not know what you are going through, but I am really sorry you have to face it and I will hold you in the Light.  But also I can assure you that if you sit still, take a deep breath, and calm your mind you will find lots of things for which you should be grateful.

Assuming you have now identified the many things for which you should be grateful, let me ask you another question.  Why do you need to be grateful at all?  Why not just accept those things as your right and not bother to be grateful at all?

If you are at all religious you may simply say that God, or whatever else you may call the Supreme Being, requires this of you.

OK, that may be true, but I think it is also a bit of a cop out.  Is there any logical reason for being grateful, above and beyond what your religion may say?

There are many good reasons to express gratitude.

Firstly, if you express your gratitude out loud, to whoever deserves it, this can have tremendously positive results.  Positive feedback encourages the person who has done something good to do even more good.  Many people can then benefit from this, including perhaps yourself as well.  All for the small "cost" of saying thank you in a way that shows you genuinely mean it.  The world in which we live can be almost hell on earth or heaven on earth, often simply from the way people around us behave.  Your "thank you" to one of those people can be infectious, changing not only the way that person behaves but also the behaviour of the people around them too.  So the end result of your simple expression of gratitude could turn someone's hell into heaven.

Secondly, whether or not you say "thank you" out loud, if you feel really grateful for something this will be noted by your subconscious.  Now that subconscious is a very powerful entity.  If it recognizes that you are grateful for something it will try to give you more of it.

Just think a little about this second reason.  Think about some of the things for which you are grateful.  How would you like to have even more?  Isn't that a good feeling, knowing that all the good things you have in your life can keep growing and attract other, similar good things to you?

If you have been following my blog for some time you may remember that I have encouraged you to list all the things for which you should be grateful.  Try that now.  This should be a really long list.  If it is not, then there is something very wrong.  Now look at each item on the list and imagine having more of it or attracting to you something else that is very similar.  Then remind yourself that if you keep expressing gratitude for this thing, that is exactly what will happen.  Your life will get better and better.  Isn't that a great reason to be grateful?

Try this today, right now!  Start expressing your gratitude and see what a difference it makes in your life!

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Egregores and Personal Development

Have you come across the concept of an egregore, and do you know why it is so important in your own personal development?

An egregore is a "thought form" created by a group of people rather than just by one individual.  If, like me, you believe in the power of thought, then you should agree that the power of thought of a fully aligned group is much greater than simply the thoughts of one individual.

There are many example of egregores in the world, at very high and very low levels, and everything in between.  Some can be good, some can be neutral, and others can be bad.

Take, for example, a mob going on a rampage.  Each individual within the mob may under other circumstances be a reasonably good person.  Certainly not a person who would consider destroying property and committing other violent acts.  But the mob itself takes on its own personality.  It draws its power by taking certain elements within each individual that are similar, for example a belief that there is a terrible wrong that needs to be corrected, and then focuses that power back into the group, making them more and more aligned.  It now begins to control the group, blinding them to everything other than the one objective that created it in the first place.  The individuals controlled by this egregore do things they would normally never dream of doing, and after the rampage is over and the egregore has gone away, they cannot believe they have acted in this way and do not know why they did.

Every country has its own egregore.  Most of the time it is quite subtle and almost unnoticeable.  But sometimes it can sieze on some negative elements and amplify them.  This is what often happens in a war.  It is what happened, for example, in Nazi Germany.

So far I have focussed on the negative side.  It is certainly important to be aware of this negative side so that we can avoid being influenced by negative egregores.  Do not surround yourself with negative people, as you will otherwise be contributing to and influenced by the negative egregore they create, whether or not you intend to do so.  No matter how good you are, if you surround yourself with negative people you cannot help being pulled down to their level.

But egregores do not have to be evil.  Just as a group of negative people, or a group assembled for a negative purpose, create an evil egregore, so does a group of positive people or a group assembled for a positive purpose, create a good egregore.

If you surround yourself with good people, striving to make a difference in their lives and the lives of those around them, you will find yourself aligned with and influenced by a very good and positive egregore.  You will find it much easier to make the improvements you are trying to make.  As you make those improvements you will be increasing the power of the egregore.  This will then make it even easier for you and the other members of this group to make even greater improvements.  And bear in mind it will not just be you increasing its power, but also all the other members of the group.  This egregore can become very powerful indeed in a short space of time and make a real difference in the world.

Make a decision today to create group thought forms that make a positive difference in you and in the world, and not to join in with those who are creating negative group thought forms.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Defining Success

Do you want to succeed in life?  I guess the answer is a resounding "yes!"  Otherwise, why would you be reading this blog?  For that matter, who would not want to succeed in life anyway?  If you do want to succeed, then read on!

The first step you must take may seem obvious, yet it is one that most people do not take.  You must decide exactly what success means to you.

Think about this carefully.  There is no one "right" answer.  The answer for you will be different from the answer for me, so I cannot give you that answer.  Nor can anyone else, no matter how good a personal development trainer or coach they may be.  Your own answer is unique to you.

The answer will also change as you move through life.  What you thought constituted "success" when you were at high school will not be the same as your definition of success once you started work.  And that definition of success will not be the same a few years later.

It is very good, of course, that your unique definition of success is changing.  Otherwise you could achieve that success and then be bored and unmotivated for the rest of your life!

The very first answers you give, before you have time to rationalize and perhaps water them down, will be very significant and will probably be a key to what will really motivate you to succeed.  So capture those thoughts, writing down everything that comes to you without discounting anything and without criticizing yourself.  Even if you feel some of your answers are immoral and should not be part of your life, still write them down.

Once you have a nice long list, start questioning yourself about each answer.  Ask yourself why this is important to you.  Don't then just accept this answer.  Ask yourself again why the things you have said are important really are so important to you.  With each answer you give yourself, dig deeper and find another answer underneath it, and then just keep digging.

Eventually, for each of your original definitions of success you will find you have something that is probably quite different.  You have reached what I call the "bottom drawer", something in your personality that you may never have seen before.

With some of your initial answers you will find they have become weaker and weaker as you dig down.  The final stage you reach will seem unexciting and will not motivate you in any way.  These are illusory definitions of success.  You should discard these, as they will just be a distraction from the steps you need to follow in order to be truly successful.

Others will really resonate.  They will empower and excite you.  These are your true definitions of success.  Write them down in a separate journal, giving a brief paragraph for each one outlining why it is so important to you.

Now that you have your true definition of success you can start to produce a plan in order to achieve that success.  Use the techniques you will find throughout my blog.  If you are really serious, if what you want to achieve really excites you, choose a coach from the many I recommend from time to time in my newsletters (if you don't receive those newsletters, then request them now at

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Inspirational Stories of Success

Last month I wrote an article about the excuses most of us use to avoid being successful.  Yes, read that again - most of us actually try to avoid being successful and then have to give ourselves excuses why we didn't achieve success.  We have to find those excuses as really it is very easy to be successful, so when we stop ourselves from realizing our dreams we need some good excuses that will convince both ourselves and those around us.  That isn't quite how I put it then, but that was the essence of my article.  If you missed it, check it out at

In my article I referred to a number of people who have achieved success against all the odds.  A lot of you contacted me and said how much those snippets of others' success stories inspired you, so today I thought I would expand a little on some of them.  So here are a few inspirational stories of success.  If you like reading this kind of story let me know and I will occasionally give you a few more such motivational stories.

Ingvar Kamprad

When you read this name you may have said "who?".  But try another name - IKEA.  Heard of that store?  Well it was founded by Ingvar Kamprad.

Ingvar was born and raised on a small farm, Elmtaryd, in Småland, Sweden.  Like most farmers, his parents were not particularly wealthy.  In fact, they were really quite poor, as were most other farmers around the rural village of Agunnaryd.  But that did not stop Ingvar!

At the age of six, Ingvar discovered he could make a profit by buying matches in bulk and then cycling round the village selling them to his neighbours.  This was just the start of his business career, a very early start.  He graduated to buying and selling fish, seeds, pens, Christmas decorations - in fact anything he found people around him wanted.  All while still a young child.

When he was 17, Ingvar founded IKEA (Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd, Agunnaryd).  He began it as a mail order business, supplying mainly furniture made at low cost by local craftsmen.

What Ingvar learned very early on is that the way to become wealthy is to help other people achieve their own dreams.  He helped local manufacturers find a good outlet for their work and he helped people all over the world furnish their houses and apartments with good but inexpensive furniture.  This simple concept led to IKEA becoming a multi billion dollar business known all over the world.

Glenn Cunningham

Perhaps another name that is not familiar?  But certainly a great success.

Glenn suffered severe leg burns at the age of 8.  His family were told by his doctors that he would never walk again.  But Glenn simply did not accept this.

Every day he got out of his bed, the bed to which his doctors had condemned him for life, and began forcing his legs to work again, little by little.  This caused Glenn great pain, but he refused to give up.  He refused to accept the invalid life everyone told him was all that was left for him.

Gradually he not only began to walk again, but managed to jog.  Then to run.

Not content with simply achieving the miracle of walking and running, Glenn announced he intended to run faster than anybody else in the world had ever run.

In 1934 he fulfilled his dream, running a mile in 4 minutes and 6 seconds, a world record.

Anthony Burgess

Have you heard of Anthony Burgess (born "John Burgess Wilson")?  He is perhaps best known for writing the novel "A Clockwork Orange", which was turned into a hugely successful film by Stanley Kubrick in 1971.

When Anthony was 40 he was diagnosed with cancer, a brain tumour, and was given less than a year to live.  He was penniless at the time, and didn't want to leave his wife, Lynne, with nothing when he died, so he decided to write and publish some novels to give her a legacy.  Notice the plural here.  He wrote not one but FIVE novels and was halfway through the sixth by the end of the year he had been given.

Fortunately for us, the prognosis was wrong.  Anthony Burgess did not die of cancer at the end of that year.  He went on to live for nearly 40 more years, writing more than 70 books, as well as translating into English the classic works Cyrano de Bergerac, Oedipus the King, and the opera Carmen, and composing more than 250 musical works.

How about you?

These three stories of success show you do not need to be wealthy, or lucky in order to achieve your dream.  All three achieved their dreams against all the odds.  What is your dream, and why not go out there now and turn it into reality?

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

We Shall Remember

We shall remember.  But what will we remember, and why?

At the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 1918, the first world war ended.  This war was known as the "Great War" and was supposed to be the "war to end all wars".  Ever since 1919 all Commonwealth countries, as well as many other countries, especially in Europe, have celebrated the end of this terrible war at 11:00 am on the 11th of November.  Wreaths of poppies are laid at war memorials, and many people observe two minutes silence.

It is right to remember those who died in the service of their country.  But I believe in remembering them we should also remember that it should never have been necessary for them to offer up their lives in this way.  Here I am not just talking about British and Commonwealth soldiers, and I am not just talking about those who died in the first world war.  I mean everyone who has ever died in any war.  Soldier and civilians.  There was no need for any of them to have died.  That is what we should remember.

Whether or not you are in a country that celebrates the end of the first world war (an end which almost guaranteed the start of the second world war rather than being a war to end all wars) I ask you to join with me now, as you read this, in two minutes silent contemplation.  A silent meditation for peace and goodwill to all men, women and children.  To me, this is the meaning of remembrance day.

George Santanyana told us that "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it".  The first world war was a terrible war that caused terrible suffering to so many people, soldiers and civilians alike.  Because we have not remembered how unneccessary and terrible that war was we have repeated it again and again.  Today soldiers and civilians are dying in so many countries as a result.  Even one such death is one death too many.  Join me in two minutes silence to remember.  To remember how terrible war is, any war, and to remember that there is never any justification to go to war.

  The first world war came and its cost was laid on the people. 
  The second world war — the third — what will be the cost. 
  And will it repay the people for what they pay?... 
  The little girl saw her first troop parade and asked,  
  ‘What are those?’ 
  ‘What are soldiers?’ 
  ‘They are for war. They fight and each tries to kill as many of the other side as he can.’ 
  The girl held still and studied.  
  ‘Do you know ... I know something?’ 
  ‘Yes, what is it you know?’ 
  ‘Sometime they’ll give a war and nobody will come.’

        Carl Sandburg, "The People, Yes"

Governments can only fight wars if the people agree to fight them.  Meditate now on peace throughout the world and your meditation can make the people who are still fighting those needless wars reflect on what they are doing.  Make a difference in the world, bring it closer to real peace with your two minute meditation right now.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Motivational Strategies

How can you motivate yourself to achieve your goals?  What motivational strategies can you use?

Before answering this question perhaps it would be a good idea to remind ourselves why motivation is so important in the first place.  Without motivation it is not really possible to do anything purposeful at all.  Without motivation we would simply give up at the first obstacle, no matter how small that obstacle may be.  If there is no real reason to continue, then why bother?  This argument also reminds us of the need to have really powerful motivation.  If it is not very powerful, then again we will probably give up the moment the first difficulty arises.

The first step in your motivational strategy must therefore be to recognize the need for motivation.

The next step is to look very carefully at each goal.  Why exactly do you want to achieve this goal?  How different will your life be once you have achieved it?  How will achieving it make you feel?  If you do this properly, one of two things will happen.  Either you will become highly motivated to achieve the goal, or you will realize the goal is not as important to you as you first thought.  Either result is good.  Eliminate goals which will never highly motivate you and you will be able to focus far better on the more important goals and will be more highly motivated to achieve them.

Once you have eliminated the "bogus" goals, look at each goal and start listing the steps you need to take to move closer to that goal.  Remember the old adage "Rome was not built in a day".  If your goal is worthwhile it will probably look very challenging if all you can see is the big jump from where you are now to where you eventually want to be.  Dreaming about that final achievement, basking in the warm feelings those dreams give you, is extremely important and is something you must keep doing, but if that is all you do that will gradually diminish your motivation rather than increase it.  Think about the steps you need to take and write them down.  Then focus particularly on the very first step.  If you have done this properly you will find that first step is not so difficult to take.  Remind yourself that the journey to your end goal is comprised simply of small, achievable steps just like this first step.  Also remind yourself of the way you will feel when you reach the end goal and then link that feeling to achieving the first step.  Now you should find you have a very powerful motivation to take that first step.  Actually taking it will then be very easy.

Once you have achieved that first step towards each of your goals, maintain an attitude of "happy but not satisfied".  You should be very happy that you are now one step closer to your goal.  Luxuriate in this feeling.  Reward yourself for your achievement.  But at the same time you should feel that you are not yet satisfied, as there are still other steps to take.  Do not count those steps or start worrying about how far away the end goal is still, as this will be very demotivational.  But recognize that it is great you have come this far on your journey and now you can focus on the next step.

Treat each step in exactly the same way.  This next step is such a small step, so you can easily take it.  But it is also one more step closer to your ultimate goal.

Follow this motivational strategy and you will find you can achieve all the goals you have set yourself.  Don't wait for the right opportunity, deluding yourself that the time is not right yet.  Take that first step and bring yourself closer to the dreams you want to realize.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Schrödinger's Cat and the Law of Attraction

The more scientific of my friends are no doubt familiar with the concept of Schrödinger's cat, a proposition put forward in 1935 by quantum physicist Erwin Schrödinger.  For those less familiar with quantum mechanics, and as a reminder for all, here is a summary of the concept.

According to quantum mechanics all possible states of a quantum system exist until an observer comes on the scene.  The observer then views one of the multiple possible states and at that point that particular state becomes reality.  Schrödinger hated this idea and put forward the following thought experiment.

Imagine you have a cat in a box.  In the box is a flask of poison and some radioactive material.  The decaying atoms in the radioactive material are, by definition, a quantum system.  This means that at any point in time an atom has both decayed and not decayed.  It is only when the box is opened and the material is observed that either decay or non-decay is crystallized.  Also within the box is a monitor that detects whether or not an atom has decayed.  If the atom has decayed, the monitor turns on a simple machine which smashes the flask, releasing the poison and killing the cat.  Ignoring for a moment the very important fact that the monitor itself is an observer which, in my humble opinion, would have crystallized the decay or non-decay anyway, according to Schrödinger if quantum theory is correct the cat would be both dead and alive at the same time until we opened the box and observed the cat.

I would like to reassure my readers that no cats were harmed in this thought experiment!

Schrödinger put forward this story in order to show his fellow scientists how absurd quantum theory was.  Unfortunately for Schrödinger, however absurd he might have considered quantum theory, the reality is that it is true.  What Schrödinger wrote as a mickey take is now a generally accepted thought experiment in quantum mechanics.

As a reminder again, Schrödinger's cat illustrates the point that all possible states in the universe exist until we observe.  The one we observe then becomes reality.  Some scientists then say that all possible states continue to exist in a "multiverse" but that our observation has caused us to enter the particular universe in which the state we observed is reality.  The proponents of multiverse theory tend to be the scientists who cannot accept the idea that God must have created the one universe in which we live, as it is the only possible alternative to this idea - but I am one of the odd few who both believe in multiverses and in God.  But whether you believe in God, multiverses, or both, Schrödinger's cat and all its implications are equally true.

Consider, for a moment, the implications this has for the Law of Attraction.  For example, there are multiple possibilities for your own future.  You could become the wealthiest person on earth, be as poor as a church mouse, or any of the possible states in between.  Which particular state becomes your reality depends entirely on which one you observe.  Focus on the outcome you want, and now recognize that your observation of this outcome has made it reality.  And this applies no matter what it is you are trying to make happen, whether it relates to wealth, health, happiness, success in a particular venture, or all of the above.

So the next time you find yourself questioning whether or not the Law of Attraction can work for you, remember Schrödinger's cat.  Make sure your observation is the right one and your cat stays alive and well!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

The Reason I Cannot Realize My Dream

Did you once have a dream but then life's knocks came along and you gave up on that dream?

Is there something you would really like to achieve, but you have never gone for it as you didn't believe it was possible for you?

The sad truth is that most people, if they are honest, would admit to this.  "I always wanted to ..., but ...!"

Everyone's "but" is slightly different.  Maybe even unique.  But I guess some of the biggest "buts" fall somewhere into one of the following categories:

  •   I don't have enough money
  •   Nobody living where I do could do it
  •   I am not educated enough
  •   I am too old
  •   I am too young
  •   I tried it before and I failed
  •   I don't have the right body for it

One of the best ways to become successful, to live your dream, is to find someone who has already done what you want to do and then copy what they did.  Not do the same things, but see how they approached the challenge and then do likewise.  Or simply to become inspired by others who have achieved something great, even if it is very different from what you wish to achieve.

  I don't have enough money

This is perhaps the biggest obstacle perceived by many people who give up trying to be successful.

Some millionaires were born wealthy.  But many were not.  Take John D Rockefeller for example.  His father was a con artist who more or less deserted his family.  His mother did the best she could to bring up her family in the absence of her husband.  They were not "dirt poor", but they were certainly not rich and John had to struggle to make good.  And make good he did!  John D Rockefeller was the founder of Standard Oil, and created a number of charitable foundations which have done enormous good in the world.  Not bad for the son of a snake oil salesman!

Or take a look at the early life of the Canadian singer, Shania Twain.  Her family was so poor that they couldn't afford to pay for heating; Northeastern Ontario, which is where they lived, gets very cold in the winter.  Shania went to work when she was just eight years old so that her family could afford to eat.  Despite this inauspicious start in life, Shania went on to become one of the highest selling female musicians of all time and is now worth several hundred million dollars.

  Nobody living where I do could do it

Too often, people blame their environment and say it makes it impossible to achieve their dreams.  In many ways this is linked to the excuse that they cannot achieve them because they do not have enough money.

Have you ever heard of the heavyweight boxer, Jack Johnson?  Jack was an African American, living in Texas in the late 19th and early 20th century.  His parents were former slaves.  He was living in a State where at the time African Americans were hardly even regarded as human.  But this background did not stop Jack doing what he wanted to do, which was to box.  That was his dream, and he lived his dream.  He became the world heavyweight champion in December 1908.

Oprah Winfrey is a more recent example of an African American from Southern USA rising to wealth and fame.  She was born into a very poor family in Mississippi.  Oprah is now known as the "Queen of All Media", and is believed to be North America's only black billionaire.

  I am not educated enough

Benjamin Franklin's family was not wealthy enough to pay for more than two years of school, so he never graduated.  He did not let that get in the way of his education, though, and he took every opportunity he could to improve himself, especially through reading lots of books.  Amongst his achievements are the invention of the lightning rod, the urinary catheter, and bifocal glasses.  He also happened to be one of the founding fathers of the United States.

Albert Einstein took so long to learn to speak that his parents thought he had a learning disability.  He did not do well at school, and eventually dropped out at age 15.  When he tried to get into Zurich polytechnic he flunked the exam.  And this was one of the most brilliant scientists of the 20th century!

Richard Branson suffers from dyslexia.  This meant he performed very badly at school, as in those days dyslexia was not really recognized and schools did not make allowances for students with this condition.  Nevertheless, Richard Branson went on to create the Virgin brand, and realized his dream to create a large and successful airline.  In his autobiography he wrote "My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them".  That is something Richard Branson has certainly achieved, setting a great example for anyone who feels challenged by their educational ability.

  I am too old

Kathryn Joosten was a highly talented actress who has won two Emmy Awards.  When did she become a successful actress?  When she was nearly 60.

Frank McCourt achieved fame through his novel "Angela's Ashes", which gained him the Pulitzer Prize.  He did not realize his dream of becoming a published author, though, until he was 65 years old!

Have you ever used a Thesaurus?  If so, you can thank Peter Roget who came up with the concept in the first place - at the grand old age of 73!  Not only did he have the "obstacle" of age, but he also suffered from Obsessive Convulsion Disorder.  Instead of seeing his mental condition as an obstacle, Roget used it to his advantage to turn his dream of a Thesaurus into reality.

  I am too young

Nobody should see being too young as an obstacle, but unfortunately many still do.

There are countless examples of very young people achieving success.  Mozart began composing at age 3 and had his debut at age 4.  Blaise Pascal created an extremely important mathematical theorum, Pascal's Theorum, when he was 16.  Arfa Karim, a Pakistani girl, became a Microsoft Certified Professional at the age of 9!

Whatever it is you want to achieve, whether young or old, you should not see age as an obstacle.

  I tried it before and I failed

Stephen King received rejection letters from 30 publishers for his first novel "Carrie".  When it was finally published it had an initial print run of 30,000, and the paperback edition which was published a year later sold over 1 million copies!

Thomas Edison is probably one of the best examples of someone who simply kept trying no matter how many times he failed.  Edison didn't invent the light bulb.  Alessandro Volta could be said to have invented it 78 years before Edison began his work.  What Edison DID invent was the first electric light bulb that would last long enough to be a practical replacement for gas and oil lighting.  It seemed an impossible task.  Everything he tried seemed not to work properly.  Did that make him give up?  No!  Instead of becoming discouraged, Edison said "I have not failed.  I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work!"

  I don't have the right body for it

Franklin Roosevelt became President of the United States when he was permanently paralyzed from the waist down.  In those days people were much less tolerant of disability and Roosevelt believed, probably rightly, that he would not be voted into office if people realized just how disabled he was.  He did not see this as an insurmountable obstacle, though, but just a challenge to be overcome.  He gave speeches from a sturdy lectern that he could lean on and appear to be fully mobile.  His strategy worked, and Roosevelt became perhaps one of the most famous Presidents of all time.

Stephen Hawkin is another great example.  Hawkin is so fully paralyzed by motor neurone disease that not only is he unable to move but he can also only communicate by moving a single cheek muscle attached to an electronic device that turns the movement into speech.  He was first diagnosed with the disease when he was 21, and was told he would not survive his 25th birthday.  As of the date of this article, Stephen Hawking is 73 and is still working.  His work includes a development of Einstein's theory of general relativity, and numerous publications popularizing his passion for cosmology.

Nick Vujicic was born without arms or legs.  He is now a very well known international motivational speaker, with a particular interest in helping teenagers overcome their problems.  This he can do very well - after all, if Nick can achieve so much without arms or legs, then how much more should I be able to achieve without such a major disability?

  So, what is your excuse

I hope you have been inspired by these very brief stories of people who have realized their dreams against what must have seemed impossible odds.  The one thing all these people share is that what others would have seen as insurmountable obstacles, they saw as stimulating challenges.

The next time you are tempted to say you are facing too difficult an obstacle to achieve your dream, just read through these examples again.  That obstacle may be very real, but it is probably not as challenging as the obstacles any of these people faced.

Whatever your dream may be, no matter your circumstances, just go for it!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The Secret of Success

Many people search for the "Secret of Success" as if it were the Philosopher's Stone which will change base metals into gold.  They look for a hidden, magic secret.  Something really magical and obscure.  The one ingredient that will change everything.  All they need to do is find this one magical ingredient and their whole life will change!  Just as the alchemists failed in this task, so those who search in this way are doomed to fail too.

There are, of course, many "Secrets of Success".  Some are vital, but many are additional helpful tips likely to improve your search for success but not absolutely essential.

I regularly give my readers many of those additional tips, both here and in my newsletters.  If you have not already added yourself to receive my newsletters, do so now at http:\\ and also receive four free e-books to help you achieve success, however you may personally define success.

One absolutely vital "Secret of Success" is to define "Success" properly.  What exactly does success mean to you?  Do not just accept the first glib answer that comes to mind.  This is an extremely important step.  If you do not get this right it is just the same as trying to plan a journey somewhere when you have no idea where it is you are going but do know it is vital you get there and nowhere else!  Can you imagine anything sillier?  Yet this is the way most people unfortunately begin their search for success.  And then they wonder why they do not succeed!

When you do arrive at an answer, do not simply accept it.  Question it.  Why is this so important for you?  What will your life be like when you have it?  How will that make you feel?

Sometimes, this questioning process will make you realize what you are aiming for is not so important after all.  This is a good result.  It means you can now find what really is important.

If you are really aiming for the right result you should find strong positive emotions are attached.  This is both a sign you are on the right track and also a vital tool that will help you reach the end goal.  Those emotions are what will drive you there as long as you keep expressing them.

There are many tools out there to help you focus those positive emotions and use them to drive you to your goal.  This is what affirmations are all about.  It is what vision boards are all about.  Stoke up those emotions and you will find yourself well on the way to achieving whatever it is you want to achieve.

Now you will need persistence, of course, and the ability to learn from failures so you find the right way to reach your goal.  If that goal is worthy of your efforts there will probably be roadblocks in the way, so you must not give up at the first block you encounter.  But where does this persistence, and the determination to keep going no matter what, come from?  It comes from those powerful emotions you stoked up when you defined your goal and which you keep stoking up every day to keep you on course.

So that is the "Secret of Success" in a nutshell.  Find what you truly want to achieve, live it in your mind and spirit, and supercharge your journey towards it with powerful positive emotions.  Do this properly and you will get there.  Certainly use the great tools that are out there to help you get there quicker, but never forget that this is the true "Secret of Success".

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

An Easy Way to Become a Millionaire

How can you become wealthy?  Really wealthy?  Millionaire kind of wealthy?

Obviously you need to do something to earn money.  There are lots of ways of earning extra money if you look hard enough, but that is not what I am looking at here.  Whatever you do to earn money, and no matter how much you earn, you may still never become wealthy.  That is the issue I am going to address.

If you take a good look at people who have become millionaires you may be surprised at how comparatively little many of them have earned.  I am not talking here about the Richard Bransons or Warren Buffetts of the world.  Not the super rich.  But lesser known people who have managed to accumulate at least $1 million.  If they do not earn much more than an average wage (whether or not it is actually a wage - many probably earn by running their own businesses) how did they become so wealthy?

Let's begin by looking at a quote from Charles Dickens:

"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."

What Mr Micawber said here contains the key to becoming wealthy.  Not, of course, by saving only a penny a year, but the basic principle here is what those millionaires understand and put into practice.

If you work for a salary, when did you last get a pay rise?  If you run your own business, when did you last manage to increase its annual profits?  Think back to that time.  How much did you spend every month a few months before your income increased?  How about after your income increased?  Did you continue spending the same every month, or did you increase it, even if only by a little?

Digging a little deeper, do you tend to spend more every month than your income?  Don't be embarrassed if the answer is "yes" - many people are in this situation.

The first step is therefore to get your expenditure under control.  If you are spending more than you earn, at least make sure you reduce it enough to avoid going further into debt.  The next step is then to reduce it further so it is at least 10% less than your income.  And when your income next increases, try not to increase your expenditure.  If you simply have to increase it, make sure it is no more than 50% of the increase.  Now invest the money you are no longer spending.

If you can do this, I can assure you that your wealth will grow very quickly.  Within just a few years you will be very wealthy.  It is as simple as that!

The reason this works so well is because of the power of compounding.

Imagine for a moment that by following my suggestion you are able to save $100 this year.  How difficult is that?  Less than 10 cups of fairly cheap coffee a month.  This should easily be achievable.  According to Warren Buffett you should expect an annual return of between 6% and 7% if you invest long term (i.e. 10 years or more) in the stock market.  Let's take the mid range of this and assume you average 6.5% growth.  Within 12 years, if you reinvest the growth, you will have doubled your money to $200.

But this assumes you can only ever save that $100 once and that in all future years you save nothing at all.  That is certainly not the way to become wealthy.  So let us now assume you save $100 each and every year.  By year 13 you will have over $2,000 in your investment account.  A lot better than $200!

Finally, let's assume that by a combination of more careful pruning of your expenditure and periodic increases in income you manage to double that $100 saving each year.  By year 14 you will have nearly $2 million!

Ok, perhaps that last scenario was a little unrealistic.  It is ok doubling your savings in the first few years but it will get more and more difficult just to keep doubling it.  But also I believe if you look properly at your expenditure you can make savings of a lot more than $100, and also if you keep at least 50% of any increase in income there will be even more for you to invest.  Without doing anything particularly drastic, someone on average earnings should easily be able to become a millionaire in 10 to 15 years.

Never again think that becoming a millionaire is beyond you, that you need to be an adept at manifesting, that you need to be very lucky or born into the right circumstances.  Most of us can easily become millionaires if we really want to just by following the above steps.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Motivation & the Law of Attraction

Many people try to put the Law of Attraction into practice and then complain it does not work.  In fact my experience suggests far more people have this experience than those who find it does work.  Why is this?  Is it that the whole idea of the Law of Attraction is wrong?  And what does this have to do with motivation anyway?

The answer is that there is nothing wrong with the Law of Attraction, but everything wrong with the way most people try to use it.  If you have not worked hard on pumping up your motivation it is a bit like trying to drive a car without putting any petrol in it.  If the tank is empty, the car will not move no matter how hard you press on the accelerator.  And if you do not have the right motivation, the Law of Attraction is unlikely to work properly for you no matter how often you repeat your affirmations and stare at your vision board.

Actually, you may feel that last sentence not quite correct, as staring at your vision board should start to build your motivation.  In my view that is its main purpose.  But I still stand by what I have said.  Many people don't get motivated when they use their vision boards.

If motivation is so important, how can you make sure you really have it?

Begin by looking at your goals and dreams.  Do they excite you?  Really excite you?

It is not enough simply to say "Yes! I really want that!".  Motivation goes much deeper than this.  When you look at a goal you want to achieve you should feel a state change.  There should be something deep within you that resonates with it.  There should be deep and powerful feelings about it.  If so, then you are motivated.  If not, then you have to do something about it, or you will probably not achieve the goal.

The first step is to find out whether this goal is fully aligned to your inner values.  If it is not, then it will be difficult for you to get really motivated.  My experience suggests that more than half the people who set out to achieve a goal are not really motivated to achieve it because it is not aligned to their inner values.

Do you even know what your inner values really are?

A good start to finding out is to take the goal and start day dreaming about it.  How does it make you feel?  What thoughts come into your mind?  Follow the trails of those thoughts and see where they lead.  You may be surprised where they end up, and this may give you a clue to who you really are and what it is you really want.

In many cases you will find you just need to tweak the goal slightly for it to be properly aligned with your inner values.  Time spent day dreaming to find out what those tweaks should be is not time wasted, but time properly invested.  If nothing exciting comes out of this, then you probably have completely the wrong goal, so look for another one that will excite you.

Now your goal is properly aligned, start to imagine how life will be when you have achieved that goal.  How does that make you feel?  This time you should feel the power.  You have now filled your tank with the right fuel, your motivation, and the engine is ready to respond.

If you have tried manifesting and using the Law of Attraction in the past and been disappointed by the lack of results, build your motivation in the way I have suggested here.  You will be blown away by the results!  Even if you find the Law of Attraction works for you, still use this technique to amplify your motivation and you will find it works even better.

Get motivated, and there is nothing in this world you cannot achieve!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

What Does Success Mean?

If I asked you whether you want to be successful, I guess you would answer with a resounding "yes!"

But what exactly does success mean?  What is success?

This might seem like a question with an obvious answer.  But think again.  It is not obvious.

Let me ask it another way.  What does success mean to you?

That is the key question, and only you can answer it.  But I can perhaps put you on the right track to finding your own answer.

Almost certainly, success does not mean lots of money.  Money is only a tool which may allow you to do the things you want in life, and simply getting more money does not make you successful.

Let me explain this a little further.  When a client says "I want more money!" I probe deeper with the question "Why do you want more money?"  Maybe the answer is "I want to buy a luxury villa somewhere on a South Sea island!"  OK, already we are getting past "money" - we now have a villa.  The next question is "why do you want to buy a luxury villa somewhere on a South Sea island?"  My client may answer "I want to be able to holiday on a lovely South Sea island whenever I want!"  Well, that doesn't necessarily mean you have to buy the villa.  One of my colleagues who coaches people how to achieve anything they desire is a very wealthy lady.  She used to have a very similar phrase on her wish list.  As she is very good at doing what she coaches, and is an expert in manifestation, she soon acquired this villa.  But after owning it for a few years she realized it was not really what she wanted so she sold it.  Instead she manifested friends who owned such a villa and were happy for her to use it whenever she wished.  Now she had what she really wanted, but without the hassle and responsibility of the ownership of property.

I suggest in order to be in the best position to be really successful you ask yourself the right questions.  Find out what success really means to you, and then challenge yourself.  Think about what you have said and dig deeper.  Ask yourself why this represents success or whether there is really something underlying it that better defines success for you.  Until you do this you will not be trying to manifest the right things, and you will probably be disappointed in the results.  Don't blame the universe for this - it is your fault for not really digging deep and answering the question properly, "what does success mean to me?"

Asking yourself this question, "what does success mean to me", is absolutely key to becoming successful.  Spend some time right now defining it and be sure the answer you give is the right one (or rather, the right ones, as almost certainly there will be a number of answers).  If you do this you will really be on the right road to success.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Using Music to Ease Depression

Shakespeare wrote "If music be the food of love, play on".  Music can, indeed, be the food of love, and of every other emotion.  It also has great power, particularly through the use of emotions, to heal, improve relationships, improve your memory, study far more effectively, and help you grow and develop your personality.

Take depression for example.  Now before anyone thinks I am suggesting you avoid medical treatment, I am not.  Depression is a serious illness and therefore has to be taken seriously.  If you think you might be suffering from depression your first port of call should be a doctor.  But having said that, music can be used very effectively to help ease the symptoms of depression.  It is also a great way of dealing with a melancholic mood that may or may not be caused by depression.

How should you use music to help ease depression, or the blues?  You should create a playlist of appropriate tracks of music.  Begin the list with music which seems to match your depressive mood.  Melancholic, slow tunes.  Blues music would be a good start - or perhaps Fado or Enka if you are familiar with those styles.  If you enjoy classical music, then perhaps Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata, or Wagner's "Liebestod" from "Tristan and Isolde" would be appropriate.  The key is to use music you like, of whatever style, but which clearly matches your mood.

Believe it or not, just listening to this kind of music matching your mood can change your mood completely, hence the popularity of blues music for example.  But do not stop there!  The next step is to select some tracks that are more "mid tempo".  Ones that are a little faster and feel a little happier.  An example might be "Only the Lonely" by Roy Orbison, or Bach's "Air on a G-String".

From there, move to some more "up-beat" and happier pieces of music.  For example "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys, or "Für Elise"by Beethoven.

Finally, end your selection with some really joyful, faster tempo pieces.  "Fun, Fun, Fun" by the Beach Boys, "All You Need Is Love" by the Beatles, Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever", or the "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's 9th Symphony (i.e. the final movement) all spring to mind.

When you play this selection, in that order, you will find it lifts your mood.  You should find yourself in a much happier state by the end.

Again I stress this is not a cure and is not intended as an alternative to medical advice when needed.  But it can certainly help alleviate symptoms of depression, and is certainly very powerful when you are simply feeling low and want to snap out of that mood.

Don't wait until you need to use this playlist.  Create it now, and then keep it ready for when you really need it.  If you wait until you need it you will find it much more difficult, and perhaps even impossible, to create it properly.

Make sure you use styles of music that you are comfortable with.  I have given examples of pop music from the 60's and traditional classical music, as these are styles I enjoy.  If you click on the title of each track I have suggested you will be able to obtain a copy if you do not already have it.  But you can equally use modern rock, punk, hip hop, new age, or anything that moves you.

The example I have given is just for lifting your mood, and it will do that in a very powerful way.  There is not enough space here to go through all the other ways you can use music in your personal development journey, although I may introduce some more in a future blog if enough people ask me to do so.  But you can see the technique I have used here, and can then modify it in order to create different playlists for different purposes.

If you are interested in pursuing this further, check out "The Tao of Music" by John Ortiz.  You can get a copy here.  Alternatively, if you are in the UK, try this link: UK Version.

Get going now and start using music to improve your mood!