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.