Something that I have been interested in for quite some time now is setting up my own little mini recording studio in my apartment. I don’t have a lot of space or a lot of money, which is what has kept me from doing this before now. It all started back in college when I got a cheap acoustic guitar for beginners after wanting to learn to play all throughout high school. I spent many an afternoon out in the quad under the big oak tree attempting to teach myself how to play and woo some of my crushes. Though I did not end up successfully wooing anyone, I did manage to teach myself to play guitar on a pretty decent level.

Fast forward to today and I’ve been using that same guitar to write my own music for the past couple of years or so. And, I’ve gotten so many of them complete that I think the time has come to start assembling a mini recording studio here in the apartment so that I can start laying down some of these songs. But home recording studio gear is expensive. Even if you’re going bare bones. Fortunately, I already have the instrument, a decent enough computer and a USB microphone that I can use for now. But that still leaves me needing to buy a few things.

First up is a good set of speakers so that I can be certain that I’m getting the sound that I desire. I don’t really have to spend a lot on these as I’ve come across some of the best studio monitors under 200 that will help me keep my spending down. So that is pretty great.

Next up, I need to come up with a solution for a good mixing board that is also low priced. Or, I can go completely digital with it and use some software. Of course, the software is not exactly cheap either. In a dream world, I’d be using something like Pro Tools and making kick ass music with no money worries. But, that’s not real life when you’re paying off debt, eh? So, I’m not really sure that I’m going to do about this just yet. Currently, I am using Audacity as it is free and it is pretty good too but not as robust as what I’m looking for right now.

Soundproofing is something else that I need to work on sound that I don’t end up with a lot of reverb issues and the like. Fortunately, this is something that I do not think that I will have to spend money on as I’ve got a few things around the apartment that I can use for this purpose. Taking the old egg shell mattress cover and putting it on the ceiling and then covering the walls with some old blankets. For the window? A few layers of bubble wrap should just about cover it. And since there are bookcases in the room that I will be using, that should take care of any other sound issues that I might encounter.

So what do you think? Am I leaving anything out?

This is my story of how I managed to get married, start a family and pay off my credit card debts WITHOUT using the law of attraction. I have read quite a bit about this supposed “law of attraction”, of the miracles it has created, of its “science” and yes, I have cringed every time I read these stories.

I believe some elements of it are true and reasonable, but the way the proponents try to portray it gives false hope, is somewhat fake and is also unrealistic.

The basic rules of the law of attraction, as they state, are these:

 

 

  • Know what you want and ask “the universe” for it
  • Focus your thought and energy entirely on this
  • Behave as if you already have it
  • Be open to receiving it from “the universe”

 

 

Hmmmm… as far as I’m concerned, this is basically a mixture of arty farty new age thinking and just basic common sense? If you want something, decide what it is and then go after it with all your life. I mean c’mon,this really isn’t headline catching stuff concerning the secrets to success. However, the proponents try to explain it as some mystical and physical power, they also claim it has a basis in quantum physics and is in fact a “law” of the universe.

If you understand more about how absurd the whole theory is, then my story basically helps show you what a load of $&#$ the whole idea is.

18 months ago I was single and enjoying life, but I was frustrated by my lack of success in relationships. I used to beat myself each evening that I couldn’t find a suitable girl and I had resigned myself to the fact that I probably might never get married. I couldn’t find it in myself to trust anyone enough to let them close to me.

Basically, I didn’t think I knew what I wanted, in life or a women and I was focused entirely on the fact that I hadn’t had a relationship in a couple of years. My thinking was everything the law of attraction would tell you not to do and then it was right at this point my future wife fell right in my lap. Splat!!

My now wife, literally forced me into a first date. I tried to split up with her, I tried to avoid her, but she wouldn’t have it. I ended up falling in love. How ironic that this clearly had nothing to do with the law of attraction, but the result was easily worthy of the hype and anecdotes they like to spin.

So just how DID I get what I wanted? I really don’t know, but I would personally just call it either luck or destiny. I am a great believer in luck and if you want to know how to utilize this theory in your life, then take a look at why the rich believe EVRYTHING is luck.

The second incident that has happened to me quite recently, which shows that the law isn’t such a real “law” and more just “luck”, is to do with my problems with my credit cards. The last year or so has been a huge financial strain for me. And I mean HUGE.

To summarize for you, this was my situation.

My wife is a student and I have to pay her school fees. Along with this I have started a family and had a number of unforeseen financial expenses along the way which resulted in me having $4000 on my overdraft and $4000 on my credit card on top of a previous loan which is about $10,000. My salary can cover rent, bills, school fees, baby costs, loan repayments & food etc but doesn’t leave so much to pay off these immediate debts as well.

Anyway, I managed to stop the boat taking in any more water and so I then worked out what I could afford to pay back. It was tough, but I figured it would take about 2 years of hard work to get it all sorted out. I had this in my mind, I was set for the long, slow, painful journey of paying back my debts.

Again I was going against what proponents of the law of attraction might preach. I was purely focused on the debt and not at all on financial freedom, just on getting rid of the damn debt. That made sense to me and I was truly driven by this desire.

Next thing I know, which was a couple of weeks ago, $4000 lands on my lap. Now, at this time I also noticed an opportunity to get another $4000 and I was alert enough to take it. This literally happened in less than 6 hours. The money had arrived to pay off my credit cards and overdraft out of literally nowhere.

Hey, I don’t know what happened but, due to my positivity and belief in luck and opportunity, I took a chance when it was there. Now, if I believed in the law of attraction then I would give it all the glory and credos for solving my financial headache. But clearly, it had nothing to do with it. It had more to do with just keeping my eyes open.

Having said all of this, I do in fact believe THERE IS a formula for success, that has been proven over the ages, but I am not going to claim it as mine or that it is a law based on physics. There are basic rules and basic characteristics that help guarantee success. However people try to spin it, however they try to give the message, I think the secret to manifestation pretty much comes down to 4 things:

 

 

  • Know what you want – don’t be afraid to have big dreams and make sure you know how to recognize when you have in fact got what you dreamed for
  • Be aware of where you are now – be honest about where you are now and the fact that you (and only you) are in control of your life (i.e. stop the blame game)
  • Create a road map to success – make a plan, make the tough decisions, look at new and different options and make sure you can’t choose to fail
  • Just do it – act with determination, energy and desire on your chosen path

 

 

It is that simple, you just need to act on it and don’t give yourself the excuse that it is not under your control. You have the choice and the chance to create your destiny right now. Just keep your eyes open.

Strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection

Kim Collins

Have you ever had a problem keeping up the momentum of change in your life? Well, if you have, don’t worry. This is a weakness I have heard about a lot from others, and which I have found on more than just a few occasions with myself. It’s the troublesome habit of sliding back down the ladder of achievement. This usually happens a few weeks or months after you have started upon some kind of project or improvement in your life.

Why does it Happen?

The initial enjoyment, satisfaction, motivation and momentum disappears and you start to slowly slide back down. You begin to lose your momentum, then… whoosh! You are at the bottom. You are looking up at a huge mountain yet again and you simply don’t want to climb back up. It hurts real bad.

This is a natural reaction. After all, if you are climbing up a slope and you slide down to the bottom again then climbing back over the same ground yet again is less appealing. If you make it up to the same point and then slide down again, the idea of trying to ascend once more becomes almost positively disheartening.

A Solution

I realized, having seen this problem in myself so many times, I needed to engineer some habit in myself to get around it. I wanted a technique that would stop me slipping and if I did catch me again quickly. Most importantly, it needed to work consistently as well. So, I simply asked myself the question “ how can i easily and consistently keep up my improvement”… and then waited for the answer.

The answer came to me a few days later and I created the idea of 1% challenges in my life in order to stop myself sliding down that slope or catch me pretty quick when I do. This is like a safety rope for your ascent. In addition to this, it also acts as a powerful machete to cut through the jungle and clear your path to the top.

Using this philosophy, all you need to do is change your basic thought pattern from when you wake up in the morning to that of immediately deciding how you could improve your life by 1% today. Imagine it. When you ask this question your mind will start looking for solutions.

It so simple and effective because it is just one thing you have to remember and it encompasses everything. How do I do it and how do I remind myself?

So, firstly, you simply just need to ask yourself:

How could I improve my life or something around me by just 1% today?

Secondly, to make sure you don’t forget you can put these protocols in place or others of your choosing:

  • I have a sign on the door as I leave the house that says 1%
  • I also have a slip of paper in my wallet that says 1%
  • I make it the first question I ask myself in the morning.
  • I congratulate myself in the evening on the 1% difference I have made.

Where do you get the ideas from?

In my case, when I am looking for inspiration, I just start cycling through the ideas I have written about in this blog or I look at situations I am not happy with in myself and around me. For example: if you want to beat procrastinationlearn to live with fear or want to remind yourself how to think like an entrepreneur then just take a look here. These can be big “little differences”. Sometimes I just ask how could I make my next door neighbor smile or make a difference to a stranger?

How does this all work? Well it reminds you of what you are working on. So you quickly pick up if you are starting to slide and you look for a little way to stop it. It means you are looking out for little things and those little things add up.

The Japanese lead the world in manufacturing due to the philosophy of looking for small changes and continuous improvement.

It’s called Kaizen. You will benefit after you add this to your life and start to move up the slope of success consistently.

It works by making life interesting. It works by meaning you are always looking up and looking for opportunity. You are constantly on the look out for improvements or for change. It adds spice, it adds a positive outlook on life. You can’t go around looking for improvement and not be positive. Just take a minute to think how you life will be after you have improved by 1% a day for a year. Now look 5 years into the future and make a big smile.

Your Task

For the next 3 weeks try to improve something in your life everyday by just 1% and see how far you can go. It can be at work, for yourself, in your relationships, money, anything!! Make the change for the better today.

Every minute you spend in your life is either spent bringing you closer to your goals or moving you away from your goals

Bo Bennett

Wehn the hmuan mnid has a sratt pinot and an end pniot tehn it can cnneoct the dtos so to seapk. So waht ectxaly deos tihs hvae to do wtih slef inmnovpremt?

Wlel, it has qitue a lot to do wtih it atllucay. It shwos the pewor of the hmuan mnid and its aitliby to aihecve rsuetls whiitn the ccerrot fworramek.

This is a neat little trick that shows as long as the starting point and the end point are well defined, it doesn’t matter what goes in between, the desired outcome occurs. That is what we all want. So in terms of your life and goals, it simply means that as long as you correctly define the start point and end point of what you want, your mind will create the desired outcome.

The Start

After realizing this, it naturally makes sense for all of us to begin on the right letter. Here are 3 steps that will start you off on your goal easily and correctly.

  • Pressure – tell people who you know will pressure you that you have set the goal and they will come back to haunt you if you should fall behind. That’s pressure. You can even give someone some cash that they will return to you after you have achieved the goal or some steps. I give my spouse my monthly allowance for myself. If I don’t get up in the morning and do some exercise before work then I don’t get my money for the day – yep, that’s REAL motivation.
  • Motivation – use the idea of anticipation and goals to give yourself even more motivation. Bring the goal close in your mind and put the obstacles in the distance. Take this energy and anticipation into the goal and it will give you all the drive you need.
  • Knowledge – take a look at someone who already has what you want before you start and learn as much as possible from them. Of course the chances are it won’t go smoothly, but preparation ensures a better journey.

The Finish

Next, you also want to make sure you are going to finish on the right letter as well. Here are 3 steps to ensure that you have a clearly defined goal and finishing point.

  • Define the goal – make it specific, visualize it, feel it and write down exactly what you are aiming for. Use specific numbers and phrases in this part.
  • Give it a date – would that school report ever have got done without a deadline? I doubt it… so you need to give yourself a target date AND tell someone it so they kick your ass if you haven’t achieved it by then.
  • Know why you want it – you need to create a why, which will inspire you to hit this goal. Why are you going to hit something if you don’t know the point in doing it?

That’s the basics of making sure you can achieve goals. Having done this the power of your mind will ensure that you connect the dots and succeed in what you set out to do. Your achievement just depends purely on the process.

Your Task

Take a goal and follow the 3 steps to create the perfect start and the 3 steps to create the end point and just let your mind connect the dots. BANG!!

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do”

Eleanor Roosevelt

This is part 3 of a 3 part series about creating the mindset for achievement (please also check out “The Power of Questions” and “Why You Should be Your Best Friend”). These ideas are at the foundation of really achieving goals and improving your life.

This is something of a personal issue for me as I used to be completely under the spell of fear. I was stuck at home unable to leave the house and scared to go to work. That was 5 years ago and I have learned a lot about the power of fear and how to live with it since then.

We all know about fear and how it can make us feel, how it can sometimes paralyze us. If you get deep into NLP there is some stuff that claims to remove fear, but I haven’t found anything that works yet for me, so I’m not going to write about it.

Instead I want to chat with you about something that can work for everyone. This is about learning to feel the fear and just doing it anyway. When you first learn to use this powerful idea you will quickly find yourself able to use it in more and situations for great results. Just imagine feeling scared yet having the personal power to march right through it. It feels great doesn’t it.

Anyway, so let’s get moving, here are the basic steps to this:

  1. You have to disassociate yourself from the fear. So often we say “I’m scared” … “I’m paralyzed with fear”. However, understand that YOU are not the fear. Whenever you feel scared, just change that thought to “I have a thought that -I am scared-”. This automatically removes you from the fear and can allow you to react more rationally. This is a great sentence structure to use, simply saying “I have a thought that ______”, can help you rapidly dissolve any gut feeling.
  2. I just take a deep breath and before its over, walk in and do it anyway. The key idea here is that ts important not to let the fear escalate, so don’t think about it, just do it.Thats the simple way, the fastest way, I read about that one and it works … sometimes … but not all the time.
  3. So I added one more step for myself. This is the idea of testing all your natural reactions. Sometimes for example you might think “that guy will never talk to me”. Thats basically your thought, so you tell yourself “I recognize my thought that I’m scared, but I’m going to see if its true or not just for fun”. Finished. Simply, tell yourself to test to see if your fear or reaction was correct. 99% of the time it is incorrect. So just turn fear into a little game.

The thing about fear is that you feel it when you go into the unknown. It means you are learning and discovering and pushing your boundaries. When you feel fear you should love yourself and smile because it means you are making progress. You are developing and moving towards your goals.

Doesn’t fear just make you smile. Feel fear and LOVE it.

The Task:

When you feel the fear. Straightaway turn it into “I have a thought that _____”. Next test if that thought is true or not. Make this a habit and you will soon love when you feel fear because it means you are learning something new.

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let’s face it, the hardest part of any task is the motivation to get it started. Why? Because we create an image in our mind of all the hard work we have to do to get in done and you know, WE HATE HARD WORK!!

This can be anything…. cleaning the house, doing some homework, getting fit. All if these things when we think of them we have an immediate reaction of “ugh”. This is the image of all the hard work, the having to move from a state of comfort.

The basic reason behind this is that the goal is further in the future than the work to get there and the further something is in the future, the less detail it has. So your image of the success and the joy is vague, but your image of the hard work is anything but vague.. right?!

Look at the idea above, think about and you can start to see a solution. Luckily the human mind provides us with an answer to procrastination and that is anticaption. Imagine being able to remove all your demotivation. Doesn’t that just make life seem a whole lot more fun and easier? Think about it.

In addition to showing you how to get rid of any lethargy you feel, today I’m also going to let you in on a simple secret of building limitless motivation and anticipation.

The basic solution to this problem is to bring the images of the future (our target) closer. Try it now… add more detail, make pictures bigger, make them louder, make the ideas brighter. Really build your anticipation and see the power of this idea. That’s it.

Understand how you can focus on the details and make the image clearer than the one of the hard work (try this exercise for your imagination if you need help) – this will naturally give you all the motivation you need. Touch that success and live it now.

If you want, we can expand on this power and idea even further if we think of what we do with our pictures of the hard work. At the same time as building our anticipation of the result and really pumping up our anticipation, we can also dim the images or ideas of the hard work, of the struggle. Make those ideas fade away to nothing. Make them small, dark, weak. Just use your power.

I really love this idea of anticipation, you can use it anytime, anywhere, for anything. Just add the detail and your mind will naturally take care of the rest.

Anticipation is the bodies natural answer to motivation, we just have to learn how to use it effectively. We all know the anticipation of eating a nice piece of chocolate cake when its right there in front of us, our mouth begins to water and you begin to taste it and you can’t wait to start. It can be the same for anything if you just bring the result to the fore of your mind.

This is another idea that is stunningly simple yet incredibly powerful . This is the kind of stuff I love. You can use it for anything. Consider all that you could achieve using this idea of destroying apathy. Well, you can go beyond that into a whole new world as you build on success upon success.

This mind hack is just the start, you can learn even more secrets to destroy procrastination and get things done right here. Don’t delay!

The Task:

Do this once a day. Pick a task you don’t want to do and think of how good you will feel after it is done. Now add more and more details of those feelings until you have an uncontrollable desire to get it done. Now go off and do that task.

“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going to fast — you also miss the sense of where you are going and why”
Eddie Cantor

If you are one of my regular readers, then you know we’ve been really rushing along so far and I’ve shown you some pretty high powered, highly focused ideas. As my friend said to me “it stops you right where you are and dumps you on the train to success“.

It’s now time for a little change of tact. We’ve already talked a bit about words of power and getting focus and this is all stuff for getting us motivated and moving towards our goals. It’s all quite pumped up stuff so I want to focus on something different today. Something just as important but much slower

Why Do We Never have Time?

In the modern world its quite easy to get caught up in the rush and become anxious, short sighted and make rash decisions. When these are over there are more choices to be made yesterday!

However, even if you are moving at the speed of light, these anxious feelings are not going to take you where you really want to be going. In fact, they are most likely taking you the opposite direction. You need tochoose to slow down from time to time.

Before you decide to make the effort to slow down, realize that in order to get ahead and improve your life you have to choose your direction. As you live, choose your destination.

If you are just floating along then you might get lucky, but if you take the time to look where you are going and to plan your route then you WILL get lucky. Once you understand this, then you can see the importance of slowing down.

If you are being pulled along with the demands of daily life then you aren’t choosing your direction, its being dictated to you like one-way street. You need to pull over and plan your route, decide where YOUwant to go.

How Can I Slow Down?

As you sit there and begin to slow down you will find yourself becoming more self-aware. As you become more self-aware you will start to make more decisions that point your life in the right direction. If you don’t then you will also have the chance to notice this fact. Slowing down allows you to make choices that will last for longer.

Here are 10 things I sometimes do to slow down and notice where I’m going:

  1. Take a long bath and lock the door.. heaven!
  2. When I’m late for an appointment, I don’t rush, I’m already late
  3. Brush my teeth at half-pace (it’s more difficult than you imagine)
  4. Notice all the beauty and wonder around me when I walk, even of a concrete building
  5. Slow down my inner dialogue like a record going s.l.o.w.
  6. Do a 5 minute meditation
  7. Take 3 deep breaths and decide to go about whatever I’m about to do peacefully
  8. Stand. Don’t walk on the escalator
  9. Sit behind the driver sticking to the speed limit when I’m driving and smile
  10. Turn off my mobile phone and enjoy being uncontactable

You can choose 10 things of your own and get in the habit of just slowing down and noticing where you are going for a small time everyday.

As you learn that those pressing demands, those anxious voices and that constant pressure isn’t what has to control you, you will become more liberated and free to choose your own direction.

You can begin to notice your thoughts rather than just react to them. It gives you the control over your destiny. See a pressure and decide to do nothing. Sense a thought of anger and decide how to react to it. Hear a call and don’t answer it. Make your reaction your choice. This all comes from slowing down.

Simply put, slow down, look where you are going and don’t get caught up in useless sh$&.

The task:

Remember to make the choice to slow down at least 3 times a day for a month and take the time to notice your thoughts and reactions. FOR 1 MONTH!!