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Posts Tagged ‘failure’

This was sent to me from a friend in India, not sure who the original author is, he never stated it… But I thought I would share it…

Positive words.bmpI remember my dad teaching me the power of language  at a very young age. Not only did my dad understand that specific words affect our mental pictures, but he understood words are a powerful programming factor in lifelong success. 

One particularly interesting event occurred when I was eight. As a kid, I was always climbing trees, poles, and literally hanging around upside down from the rafters of our lake house. So, it came to no surprise for my dad to find me at the top of a 30-foot tree swinging back and forth. My little eight-year-old brain didn’t realize the tree could break or I could get hurt. I just thought it was fun to be up so high.

My older cousin, Tammy, was also in the same tree. She was hanging on the first big limb, about ten feet below me. Tammy’s mother also noticed us at the exact time my dad did. About that time a huge gust of wind came over the tree. I could hear the leaves start to rattle and the tree begin to sway. I remember my dad’s voice over the wind yell, "Bart, Hold on tightly." So I did. The next thing I know, I heard Tammy screaming at the top of her lungs, laying flat on the ground. She had fallen out of the tree.

I scampered down the tree to safety. My dad later told me why she fell and I did not. Apparently, when Tammy’s mother felt the gust of wind, she yelled out, "Tammy, don’t fall!" And Tammy did. fall.     

My dad then explained to me that the mind has a very difficult time processing a negative image. In fact, people who rely on internal pictures cannot see a negative at all. In order for Tammy to process the command of not falling, her nine-year-old brain had to first imagine falling, then try to tell the brain not to do what it just imagined.

Whereas, my eight-year-old brain instantly had an internal image of me hanging on tightly. This concept is especially useful when you are attempting to break a habit or set a goal. You can’t visualize not doing something. The only way to properly visualize not doing something is to actually find a word for what you want to do and visualize that.

For example, when I was thirteen years old, I played for my junior high school football team. I tried so hard to be good, but I just couldn’t get it together at that age. I remember hearing the words run through my head as I was running out for a pass, "Don’t drop it!" Naturally, I dropped the ball.     

My coaches were not skilled enough to teach us proper "self-talk." They just thought some kids could catch and others couldn’t. I’ll never make it pro, but I’m now a pretty good Sunday afternoon football player, because all my internal dialogue is positive and encourages me to win. I wish my dad had coached me playing football instead of just climbing trees. I might have had a longer football career.           

Here is a very easy demonstration to teach your kids and your friends the power of a toxic vocabulary. Ask them to hold a pen or pencil. Hand it to them. Now, follow my instructions carefully. Say to them, "Okay, try to drop the pencil." Observe what they do.

Most people release their hands and watch the pencil hit the floor. You respond, "You weren’t paying attention. I said TRY to drop the pencil. Now please do it again." Most people then pick up the pencil and pretend to be in excruciating pain while their hand tries but fails to drop the pencil.   

The point is made.         

If you tell your brain you will "give it a try," you are actually telling your brain to fail. I have a "no try" rule in my house and with everyone I interact with. Either people will do it or they won’t. Either they will be at the party or they won’t. I’m brutal when people attempt to lie to me by using the word try.

Do they think I don’t know they are really telegraphing to the world they have no intention of doing it but they want me to give them brownie points for pretended effort? You will never hear the words "I’ll try" come out of my mouth unless I’m teaching this concept in a seminar. 

If you "try" and do something, your unconscious mind has permission not to succeed. If I truly can’t make a decision I will tell the truth. "Sorry John. I’m not sure if I will be at your party or not. I’ve got an outstanding commitment. If that falls through, I will be here. Otherwise, I will not. Thanks for the invite."             

People respect honesty. So remove the word "try" from your vocabulary. My dad also told me that psychologists claim it takes seventeen positive statements to offset one negative statement. I have no idea if it is true, but the logic holds true. It might take up to seventeen compliments to offset the emotional damage of one harsh criticism.           

These are concepts that are especially useful when raising children.

Ask yourself how many compliments you give yourself daily versus how many criticisms. Heck, I know you are talking to yourself all day long. We all have internal voices that give us direction.         

So, are you giving yourself the 17:1 ratio or are you shortchanging yourself with toxic self-talk like, " I’m fat. Nobody will like me. I’ll try this diet. I’m not good enough. I’m so stupid. I’m broke, etc. etc."   

If our parents can set a lifetime of programming with one wrong statement, imagine the kind of programming you are doing on a daily basis with your own internal dialogue. Here is a list of Toxic Vocabulary words.   

Notice when you or other people use them. 

But: Negates any words that are stated before it.               

Try: Presupposes failure.     

If: Presupposes that you may not.   

Might: It does nothing definite. It leaves options for your listener.

Would Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn’t actually happen.

Should Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn’t actually happen (and implies guilt.)         

Could Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn’t actually happen but the person tries to take credit as if it did happen.             

Can’t/Don’t: These words force the listener to focus on exactly the opposite of what you want. This is a classic mistake that parents and coaches make without knowing the damage of this linguistic error.       

Examples:           

Toxic phrase: "Don’t drop the ball!"   

Likely result: Drops the ball     

Better language: "Catch the ball!"   

Toxic phrase: "You shouldn’t watch so much television."             

Likely result: Watches more television.   

Better language: "I read too much television makes people stupid. You might find yourself turning that TV off and picking up one of those books more often!"   

Exercise: Take a moment to write down all the phrases you use on a daily basis or any Toxic self-talk that you have noticed yourself

using. Write these phrases down so you will begin to catch yourself as they occur and change them.

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Can we help it? Often times we will say, or we will hear someone say “I can’t help it” or something along those lines. The excuse is an easy one, we take the responsibility off of ourselves and place it someone or something else.

We are becoming, and some would say we already are, a society of blamers a people who have no personal responsibility to anything or anyone, including themselves. Don’t believe me, just watch the news, read the paper or listen to people talk about their problems. Seldom will you hear someone say, “Man it’s all my doing, it’s all my fault”, but you will hear them say “If only so and so would have…” or “If I didn’t have bad luck, i would have no luck”

I know I have done that very thing, tried to find others to blame for my screw up, I look for an excuse for my failure, I seek out reasons why I didn’t do what I was suppose to do, any old reason will do from the dog ate my paper to I was feeling al little under the weather.

The reasons my be true, but most often than not we create the reasons to justify our actions or inactions. We allow our minds to create situations to facilitate our need to blame others. It is truly a remarkable ability of the human race, no other creation can do this, if a dog fails to go the the bathroom outside he can not state that he could not help it, he cannot blame the other dog in the  house.

So can we help it? Do we have the ability to take the blame head on? I think we do, but I also think that modern society has programmed us not to. The pop culture is one of blame, we are told from a very early age that it is everyone else’s responsibility or fault, not ours. We have to work counter to what the culture tells us, we have to start teaching our children to take responsibility and we have to no longer accept the “I can’t help it” mentality.

It wont be easy, but the results will be a household full of peace and understanding, one that takes responsibility for there own actions and allows for mistakes to be made and lessons to be learned. Personal responsibility is a virtue we seem to have lost over time, like many virtues this one seems to be viewed as old fashion, out of date and just plan bad for the persons self image.

But what can be better for ones self image than personal responsibility? Pop culture has begun a sterilization of humanity, and if we do not stop it soon we will not be able to. We must teach our children and re-teach ourselves to take personal responsibility, once we have that back, other areas will fall in to line. We will not have as many teen drug issues, or pregnancies. Abortion rates will drop and kids will stay in school longer. We would have less violence and more acceptance. Personal responsibility is the key that will turn the lock on society, it will unlock the potential of society and allow the greatness that we are capable of to flow and flourish.

Can we help it? Yes we can, and we need to start at home, with ourselves and our families. there is no over night remedy, it will take time, but change starts at home, and from there it will grow to your community, and beyond.

 

Paul

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John Wooden, one of the greatest coaches to ever coach the game of basketball, was reported to have consistently encouraged his players to “Never let what you can’t do get in the way of what you can do.”

How true that is, we often times talk ourselves out of doing great things because we focus on the things we can’t do. We tend to look at the negative in ourselves. I know from past experiences I have done the same, I have looked to my weakness and failed myself in doing so.

Today it is a different story for me, I now look to my strengths my goals and dreams, I lay my “can not do’s” aside and focus on my “can do’s”. I still faultier and some may say fail (I  personally do not look upon them as failures) but I do not allow that to sway me, I keep on keeping on, borrowing from the 70’s.

So what made the change in me, why do I now look to what I can do and ignore what I can not do? It’s simple, I got tired of failing myself, I got sick of always not trying, of never not knowing if I can do it. But mostly I hated the feeling inside, the feeling of being a failure, of not being good enough of always being second or third or maybe even last best. I needed to change, to move on to grow up to see life in a new way, but mostly I needed to see myself in the true light, not in the light that I shinned upon myself.

My high school years were years filled with second guessing and self doubt. I lived a life of dreaming of being not myself, the life of others was always a better life than mine. I felt no value with what I can do because I only saw what I could not do. I strived to fail, and failed I did.

Post high school I started to see the world and myself through a new light, in truth I can not state what one thing started me on this road of self discovery, but it was a slow road, one that from time to time I still must walk. Unlearning the skill of self doubt is a skill with in it self, so I needed to unlearn and learn new skills all at the same time, what a heavy weight for a young man to carry. But carry it I did, stumbling along the way, and skinning a few knees as I went.

Nothing worth achieving should com easy, i truly believe this now, no so much back then, but now, yah, I truly believe that we must suffer to achieve greatness with in our selves. And suffer I did and suffer I do. But now I look upon that suffering in a new light, a light of truth and light that I choose to shine upon it.

The light of truth is the light that makes me examine myself, to see where I have caused the issue and suffering, the light that forces me to take responsibility for my actions. It is a bright and blinding light at times, a light of extreme heat. But I choose to face it, to allow it to blind me and burn me, if it will, in the end, forge a new me.

But the light of truth has no power unless I shine it upon myself, not others. It is the self incrimination of that light that gives it it’s power. The power of self over self is awesome, its a power of overwhelming consequences, yet it is one that we must unleash, it is a power we must learn to us if we ever wish to become more.

I am still walking that road, I am still stumbling and scraping my knees, and yes I still shine that light upon myself, but now I do not see the sad self of before, one who could not and would not do anything great, but now I see someone who has and will continue to do great things. They may be small small greatness’, and to some not even that great. But to me they are life changing and world enhancing greatness’. And I know that when I shine the light upon myself, I know that I will see someone who has strived for greatness, not allowing the “Can not’s” to interfere with the “Can”.

Paul

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