Oprah’s Top 7 Tips for Creating the Life You Want

By HENRIK EDBERG

“If you want your life to be more rewarding, you have to change the way you think.”

“For everyone of us that succeeds, it’s because there’s somebody there to show you the way out.”

1. Keep your focus in the right place.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

This is a pretty clever tip that can have a larger influence on your life than you may imagine. Within your mind there is something called Reticular Activation System (or RAS). It can help you because what you focus your thoughts on this system will start to try to find evidence of in your surroundings.

Since you can only take in a small part of all impressions what you focus on becomes very important.

In fact, changing what you focus on can seem to change your world radically.

When you focus on what you have and appreciate it or focus on what you want a lot of things will start to “pop up” in your reality. It was actually there all along.

But you can only see it when you shift your focus. If you focus on what you don’t have your RAS will only help you to find evidence of that.

By being thankful and making appreciating a regular habit you cannot only quickly change a sour mood into a positive one. You can also have more of what you want and kinda automatically find solutions and useful information that can help you to achieve what you are focused on. An external reminder or two – for instance post-it notes on your fridge – can be helpful to keep your focus in the right place in your day to day life.

2. Redefine failure.

“I do not believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process.”

“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.”

“I believe that one of life’s greatest risks is never daring to risk.”

One of the big things holding people back from getting what they want is the fear of failure. But as written many times before, failure can be a very helpful learning experience. In fact, without failure you’ll probably never learn the things you need to achieve the success you dream of. So, instead of seeing failure as something big and scary, redefine it in your mind as a learning experience. Two more tips for dealing with failure in a useful way are:

  • Create an abundance mentality. A scarcity mentality tells you that there is always a lack. An abundance mentality tells you that there is always an abundance. That there are always more goals that you can score, business opportunities to find and dates to be had. If you miss one, then learn what you can from it. But don’t let it drag you down. Use the first tip in this article and bring your focus back to what you want once again. Focus on the abundance. This will not only make it easier to take a chance on something but is also a good thing to focus on to reduce those negative feelings, those fears of failure that to a large degree is created within your mind because of a perceived lack.
  • Focus on the process. What this means is that you just focus on what you are doing. You don’t think about the possible outcomes of what you are doing when you are doing what you do. You detach from that. You just keep your mind focused on doing the work. You don’t think about how you may fail, disappoint yourself or have great success. You don’t think about how you may disappoint, amuse or in some other way be seen through the eyes of others. You just focus on what you do. And so what you do becomes enjoyable even though it may contain some stumbling or failures. You can read more about focusing on the process and detaching from the outcome in The Relaxifying Secret to Success.

3. You are fuelling your own fear.

“Whatever you fear most has no power – it is your fear that has the power.”

Fear is mostly just a loop of thoughts that you are feeding with new energy. When you accept what is and face your fear then you stop feeding it and it dissipates.

So the key is to accept. Accepting what is stops the flow of energy back into the fear. One way to do this is by surrendering to the emotion. And then to take the action that you fear. By surrendering you remove or at least weaken the negative emotion that is holding you back. By taking the action your mind gets the proof that whatever you feared wasn’t really that scary.

Here’s one way to surrender to your emotion:

When you feel a negative feeling then accept that feeling. Don’t try to fight it or to keep it out (like many of us have learned throughout life). Say yes to it.

Surrender and let it in. Observe the feeling in your mind and body without labelling or judging it. If you let it in – for me the feeling then often seems to physically locate itself to the middle of my chest – and just observe it for maybe a minute or two something wonderful happens. The feeling just weakens and sometimes vanishes completely.

4. Do the right thing.

“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”

This is a real interesting one. But how do you do it? How do you keep doing the right thing when nobody’s looking and checking up on you? I certainly don’t have a complete answer for that but two useful things I’ve found are these:

Make your own rules. It seems to me that if you are to stick to doing the right thing then you need to take your eyes from the rules and values set by people around you. You need to define yourself and what you’re about. If you play by other people’s rules then you’ll be answering to those people. And it will be pretty easy to slip up or cheat when no-one is watching. But if you make your own rules then you answer to yourself. When you are accountable to yourself instead of the world around you it will be easier to do what you feel is right more consistently.

Get off dependence on external validation. If you are dependent on external validation – people telling you that you are doing a good job etc. – then it will be hard to play by your own rules. You’ll constantly be looking outward to see how you are doing and adapt to what people are telling you. And if you’re hooked on such validation then it will be tempting to just cheat or skip doing the right thing when nobody is watching, because there is no-one there to praise you anyway. You can read more about external validation – and about replacing it with internal validation – in 9 Great Ways to Make Yourself Absolutely Miserable.

5. You get what you give. In more than one way.

“What I know for sure is that what you give comes back to you.”

This is of course a classic piece of advice. And I believe it’s pretty accurate. People tend to adapt and reciprocate. They treat you as you treat them. But lately I’ve also been thinking about how this seems to work in another way.

It seems to me that what you do to others you also directly do to yourself. If you pour out a lot of negativity out into the world then you also pour that energy into yourself. For the moment, it may feel good to gossip about your boss. But I believe that much of the negativity that you find in your life is caused by this behaviour. It may not be directly tied to what you said or did. But it seems to me like you cannot hurt someone without, in some way, hurting yourself too.

The more negativity you dole out the worse you tend to feel in your everyday life. The more problems you find and cause. The more you overreact and feel a sad funk arising from nowhere in particular. Maybe it’s because giving out much negativity causes you to focus your RAS more on the negative things in your life.

6. Let go of the past. Live in the present.

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”

One of the best things you can do to improve your life and feeling of wellbeing is to let go of what has happened. To not be dwelling on whatever negative things that happened in the past for too long. But how do actually you do it?

I have found a few good tips so far. They work well, and will probably work even better as time passes and I get better at using them.

The first one is to ask yourself throughout the day or when you feel like you’re spiralling down into negative thoughts: what’s in it for me? What is in for me by thinking about these thoughts?

I often realize that there is very little in it for me. Negative thoughts or replaying a negative memory over and over in my mind isn’t helping that much. Sure, you can derive a sort of pleasure – a sort of importance – by feeling like a victim or by hating someone and secretly plotting for some kind of revenge. But really what you are doing is wasting your time and energy.

That’s what’s in it for you. For instance, someone who is hated might not feel good about it. Or s/he may on the other hand not even notice it. It is always the hater that suffers the worst, that carries around the self-imposed curse. S/he spends hours, days or months in a cloud of negative thoughts that spill over into the rest of his/her life too.

You have already read about the second tip: focus on what you want. And focus on the abundance instead of the scarcity.

The third tip is to learning to spend more and more time in the present rather than the past or a projected future. And the best practical way I have found so far to do that is ties back to the beginning of this article. Pick up a copy of Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth” and if you like, start watching/listening to the webinars.

7. It’s up to you what happens.

“We are each responsible for our own life – no other person is or even can be.”

When we are young other people are responsible for our lives. I think that one sign of a mature person would be that he or she takes 100% responsibility for his/her own life. Still, there is often a lingering feeling that we may want someone else to still be responsible for our lives.

One way that this manifests is in how people go looking for magic pills. Instead of buckling down, taking responsibility for their own life and working step by step towards a goal there is a need for a book, a program, a pill or something we can buy that will make our problem go away. Like how mom or dad used to fix your problems and make them go away.

Now I’m not saying that I haven’t been looking for magic pills. Maybe everyone needs to go through such phases. But I think that when you can let go of such searching then you are probably on a road that will bring you better results than your search for magic pills did.

Why? Well, you realize that you need to be behind the wheel and in control. And when you stop spending time looking for the next magic pill you become focused. You realize that no book can give you more than the knowledge. You realize that you need to take action in your life and create your life in the way you want it.

And now all those books you bought may become more useful. Because you are no longer looking at them as a magic pills that will “fix you”. You see them as roadmaps that can guide you along your path.

True Secrets to Making Your New Year Fitness Plan Stick

By Lynn Bode

While you can’t wave a magic wand and make your resolution come true, there are some easy steps to take that will make it easier to fulfill your promise to yourself.

  • Choose an attainable goal. Resolving to look like a male-model is not realistic for most of us, but promising to include daily physical activity in our lives is very possible.
  • Avoid choosing a resolution that you’ve been unsuccessful at achieving year after year. This will only set you up for failure, frustration and disappointment. If you are still tempted to make a promise that you’ve made before, then try altering it. For example, instead of stating that you are going to lose 30 pounds, try promising to eat healthier and increase your weekly exercise.
  • Create a game plan. At the beginning of January, write a comprehensive plan. All successful businesses start with a business plan that describes their mission and specifics on how they will achieve it. Write your own personal plan and you’ll be more likely to succeed as well.
  • Break it down and make it less intimidating. Rather than one big end goal, dissect it into smaller pieces. Set several smaller goals to achieve throughout the year that will help you to reach the ultimate goal. Then, even if you aren’t able to reach your final goal, you will have many smaller, but still significant, achievements along the way. For example, if your goal is to complete a 10K race, your smaller goals could be running a 5K in less than 30 minutes, adding upper and lower body strength training to increase your muscular endurance, and running 2 miles with a personal best completion time.
  • Make contingency plans: don’t assume sticking to your plan will be smooth sailing. Plan on hitting bumps along the resolution road and be prepared with specific ways to overcome them. What will keep you from skipping your workout or stop you from having a cigarette? This may mean seeking help from family or a professional, writing in a journal, etc.
  • Give it time: most experts agree that it takes about 21 days to create a habit and six months for it to actually become a part of your daily life.
  • Reward yourself with each milestone. If you’ve stuck with your resolution for 2 months, treat yourself to something special. But, be careful of your reward type. If you’ve lost 5 pounds, don’t give yourself a piece of cake as a reward. Instead, treat yourself to something non-food related, like a professional massage.
  • Ask friends and family members to help you so you have someone to be accountable to. Just be sure to set limits so that this doesn’t backfire and become more irritating than helpful. For example, if you resolve to be more positive ask them to gently remind you when you start talking negatively.
  • Don’t go it alone! Get professional assistance. Everyone needs help and sometimes a friend just isn’t enough. Sometimes you need the help of a trained professional. Don’t feel that seeking help is a way of copping out. Especially when it comes to fitness, research studies have shown that assistance from a fitness professional greatly improves people’s success rate. Limit your number of promises. You’ll spread yourself too thin trying to make multiple changes in your life. This will just lead to failure of all of the resolutions.
  • Test your flexibility: realize that things change frequently. Your goals and needs may be very different in April then they were when you made your resolution in January. Embrace change, even if that means that your resolution is altered.
  • Keep a journal: A journal helps you recognize your positive steps and makes it harder to go back to the same old habits.
  • On average only about 20% of us keep our New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, some of the biggest failures are found in fitness resolutions. But don’t let the statistics get you down. By following the tips above you’ll be better equipped to fall into the successful 20% category.

    9 Steps to Define your Goal Destination and Devise a Plan to Get There

    By Katie-Anne Gustafsson

    Where do you want to be 5 years from now, 10 years from now, or even this time next year? These places are your goal destinations and although you might know that you don’t want to be standing still in the same place as you are now, it’s not always easy to identify what your real goals are.

    Many people think that setting a goal destination is having a dream that is there in the far distant future, but will never be attained. This proves to be a self-fulfilling prophesy because of two things. Firstly, that the goal isn’t specifically defined enough in the first place, and secondly, it remains a remote dream waiting for action which is never taken.

    Defining your goal destination is something that you need to take some time to think carefully about. The following steps should get you started on a journey to those goals.

    1. Make a list of your goal destinations. Goal destinations are the things that are important to you. Another word for them would be ambitions, but ambitions sound like something which outside of your grasp, whereas goal destinations are certainly achievable if you are willing to put in the effort working towards them. So what do you really want to do with your life? What are the main things that you would like to accomplish with your life? What is it that you would really regret not doing if you suddenly found you had a limited amount of time left on the earth? Each of these things is a goal. Define each goal destination in one sentence.If any of these goals is a stepping stone to another one of the goals, take it off this list as it isn’t a goal destination.
    2. For each goal, you need to think about the time frame you’d ideally like to have accomplished this goal. This is where the 5 year, 10 year, next year plan comes into it. Some goals will have a “shelf life” because of age, health, finance, etc, whereas others will be up to you as to when you would like to achieve them by.

    Now comes the more intense part of the goal destination setting – devising the planning of your journey towards arriving at each of your goal destinations. Follow the step by step plan for each of your goals individually.

    1. Write each goal destination at the top of a new piece of paper.
    2. For each goal write down what is it that you need and don’t have now that will allow you achieve that goal.This could be some kind of education, career change, finance, a new skill, etc. Any “stepping stone” goals you removed from part 1 of the goal destination identification process will fit into this exercise. If any of these smaller “goals” have sub-goals, go through the same process with these so that you have precise action points to work with.
    3. Under each item listed in 2 above, write down the things that you will need to do in order to complete each of the steps required to complete the goal.These items will become a check-list. They are a tangible way of checking how you are progressing towards reaching your goal destinations. A record of your success!
    4. Using the time frames you created in part 2 of the goal destination identification process, on each goal destination sheet write down the year in which you will complete the goal by. For any goal which has no fixed completion date, think about when you would like to have accomplished it by and use that as your destination date.
    5. Working within the time frames for each goal destination, make a note of realistic dates by which you will complete each of the small steps.
    6. Now take an overview of all your goal destinations and make a schedule of what you need to do this week, this month, this year – in order to progress along the road towards your goal destinations.
    7. Write these action points on a schedule so that you have definite dates on which to do things. At the end of the year, review what you have done this year, mark things off the check-lists for each goal destination and write up the schedule with the action points you need for the next year.

    Although it may take you several years to, for example, get the promotion you desire because you first need to get the MBA which means getting a job with more money to allow you to finance a part-time degree course, you will ultimately be successful in achieving your goal destination because you have planned out not only what you want, but how to get it, and have been pro-active towards achieving it. Congratulations!

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