Beyond “Happy Thoughts” – The Affirmation Spot for Friday August 29, 2008

Today’s thought is:

“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.”
~ Benjamin Disraeli

Many people equate positive thinking with naivete. Thinking “happy thoughts”, they point out, in the face of tragedy or difficulty is unrealistic.

There seems to be a defensiveness in that line of thinking. It renders as, “If I let my guard down enough to think ‘happy thoughts’ when things are tough, I’m going to get hurt. So, I’m going to steel myself against that possibility by thinking negative (um, realistic) thoughts.”

I can’t think of a better time to think “happy thoughts” than in the face of struggle. The challenge is whether or not you can. It’s not so easy to face down injustice, sadness, depression, and hatred with a sense of peace and a wise smile. It takes incredible strength and fortitude to do that and we, this blogger included, often fail miserably.

Negativity (um, realism) is like a powerful gravity well sucking us into its depths. We become caught up in negativity (um, realism) and we find ourselves getting more negative (um, realistic) by the moment. A “happy thought” is a very good thing at that moment. it changes the perspective. After all, the overwhelming majority of stresses we feel in our lives are rooted in our thinking. Maybe, just maybe, changing your thoughts changes the situation.

“Happy thoughts” are beneficial, but only a beginning. Empowered thinking is the ultimate goal. Empowered thinking changes the dynamic from throwing “happy thoughts” against a stressful world to actually feeling strong enough to act for change.

Three elements of Empowered Thinking

  1. Thought aspect – you have to think positively. Belief and commitment are important in any endeavor. Positive thinking is imperative to maximize those attributes. Positive thinking is the basis for empowered thinking, but empowered thinking is more than just positive thinking. It incorporates two more elements.
  2. Knowledge aspect – you have to be informed. In achievement pursuits, know what you are trying to achieve and be informed on what is going to be involved in succeeding. Knowing that ahead of time can help you prepare mentally for it. When empowering your thinking to critically evaluate information (such as in politics) you need to know as many of the facts as possible. Positive thinking and a lack of information do not allow you to take powerful action.
  3. Action aspect – empowered thinking is more than just thinking and knowing. Empowered thinking includes action. If you have incorporated the first two elements, your actions can be motivated and informed.

While “happy thoughts” may provide you a kind of protective shield; empowered thoughts help you break out of your shell and move forward towards a better you, a better life, and a better world.

Stay inspired!

Ray


www.theaffirmationspot.com offers downloadable mp3 affirmations for nearly every area of life – sports, sales, wealth and prosperity, health and fitness, personal growth – to name just a few. Our library is growing all the time.



101 Ways to Use Affirmations – The Affirmation Spot for Tuesday August 26, 2008

Today’s Affirmation:

“Whatever goal or dream I choose to pursue, I find success.”


Affirmations are such an underutilized tool in our society. Many people have mistakenly associated them with just a few areas of life – self-development, recovery, or sales. The fact is they are a simple and effective tool for improving nearly any area of your life where you want to improve or acheive.

Affirmations are the thought part of the equation. They must be supported by action. Remember, a mind practicing empowered thinking is much more apt to take the actions that make dreams so.

Here are 101 ways to use affirmations to get you started.

  1. Empower your thinking
  2. Empower action in your life
  3. Improve your golf swing
  4. Develop your confidence
  5. Advance your career
  6. Exceed your quota
  7. Experience more peace
  8. Win more games
  9. Become a better public speaker
  10. Become a better student
  11. Build your self-esteem
  12. Successfully battle addictions
  13. Live more happily
  14. Focus on your goals
  15. Achieve your goals
  16. Become a better musician
  17. Become a better shortstop
  18. Become a better gymnast
  19. Deepen your faith
  20. Stay motivated in the face of difficulty
  21. Improve  creativity
  22. Give yourself some credit
  23. Attract a better job
  24. Become a better quarterback
  25. Become a better dancer
  26. Become a better free throw shooter
  27. Enhance your trust in yourself
  28. Enhance your trust in the Universe
  29. Enhance your trust in God
  30. Achieve more
  31. Strengthen your commitment to your relationships
  32. Improve your tennis serve
  33. Commit to and achieve weight loss
  34. Commit to an exercise program
  35. Improve your cooking
  36. Become a faster swimmer
  37. Write your best
  38. Challenge yourself
  39. Gain inspiration for your painting
  40. Build a more successful business
  41. Increase your sales
  42. Help you appreciate life
  43. Develop new skills
  44. Become a better skier
  45. Become a hockey player
  46. Become a more successful author
  47. Help you pursue your dreams of a singing career
  48. Deal with stress
  49. Handle adversity
  50. Become a better engineer
  51. Connect to your audience
  52. Pursue your acting dreams
  53. Be the best coach
  54. Start over
  55. Try something new
  56. Experience more love
  57. Feel more joy
  58. Find encouragement
  59. Encourage growth
  60. Become a better engineer
  61. Take charge of your dreams
  62. Become a better pitcher
  63. Improve your putting
  64. Envision a better life
  65. Stay organized
  66. Get more done
  67. Become a better preacher
  68. Write your great novel
  69. Paint your great painting
  70. Develop a sense of purpose
  71. Develop more wisdom
  72. Become a better volleyball player
  73. Become a better architect
  74. Age gracefully
  75. Enjoy life
  76. Become a better poet
  77. Assume leadership confidently
  78. Be your best
  79. Change direction in life
  80. Calm down
  81. Become a better lawyer
  82. See the beauty in life
  83. Become a better teacher
  84. Appreciate nature
  85. Remind you that you have choices
  86. Get control of your finances
  87. Become a better salesperson
  88. Make more time for you
  89. Succeed more often
  90. Become a stronger person
  91. Become a better manager
  92. Inspire others
  93. Make a difference
  94. Become a better right fielder
  95. Improve your gardening
  96. Make time for leisure
  97. Achieve relaxation
  98. Become a better police officer
  99. Attract business opportunities
  100. Make peace with money
  101. Fine-tune practically any skill

 

Stay inspired!

Ray

The Power of Laughter – The Affirmation Spot for Saturday August 23, 2008

Today’s thought is:
“At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.”

~ Jean Houston


When do you ever feel better than when you laugh? Laughter is one of the few human experiences that can – at least for the moment – make us forget and transcend any problem. In the moment of laughter, sadness, depression, stress, and worry are reduced to zero. It stands to reason that the more we laugh the less we experience these negative feelings and emotions.

Scientific research shows that laughter has an array of health benefits from stress reduction to a reduced risk of heart attack.

Laughter is a readily accessible transformational experience.  It does not require years of practice and techniques and can be entered into anytime and anywhere by our own choice.

Beware! Laughter is contagious.

Stay inspired!

Ray


www.theaffirmationspot.com offers downloadable mp3 affirmations for nearly every area of life – sports, sales, wealth and prosperity, health and fitness – to name just a few. Our library is growing all the time. Remember your fifth affirmation on each order is always free.



Affirmations: Repetition and Belief Part II – The Affirmation Spot for Tuesday August 5, 2008

In the previous post, I discussed the importance of repetition with affirmations in changing thoughts at the subconscious level. Over time, this repetition helps change the subconscious environment and that lays the groundwork for the belief that is necessary for affirmations to succeed. Today I am discussing belief.

Let me qualify what I mean by belief. Belief is not the fervor with which you say affirmations or listen to them. It’s not about “believing in the affirmations”.

When I talk about belief and affirmations I am talking about the belief in the accomplishment, goal, or dream you are pursuing. I am talking about a commitment and a plan of action to coincide with the use of the affirmations. The belief, the willingness to believe, or at least the desire to “go for it” must already be present in you.

This is going to shake some people up. Affirmations are not tools of persuasion. Let me say that again. Affirmations are not tools of persuasion.

The common thinking about affirmations is that if you hammer a phrase into your mind long enough and hard enough, that process will magically make you believe it. There is a grain of truth in this idea as it relates to the repetition side of the house, but if belief is lacking, the affirmations cannot succeed.

There are many people – including many coaches and mental health professionals with M.A. and PhD after their names – who mistakenly think affirmations are tools of persuasion. Often these professionals evaluate affirmations harshly because they fail to produce the desired results. These criticisms usually center on the issue of cognitive dissonance – the natural resistance in our minds to statements that we don’t believe to be true.

The argument follows this line of reasoning.

Patient A had self-esteem issues. We tried affirmations as a way of correcting the self-esteem. However, the affirmations failed because patient A was not able to make the leap from the current state to the desired state represented by the affirmations. Therefore, affirmations don’t work because they place unrealistic demands on the patient’s ability to believe in the outcome.

Precisely. Affirmations are not tools of persuasion. They do not create belief. They magnify and expand belief or desire to align thinking with actions in a person determined to achieve a goal. That belief/determination/desire foundation must be created, when necessary, by counseling, coaching, or other means. Saying or listening to affirmations without this belief component – without commitment to achieving something – is nothing more than wishful thinking.

You are always going to encounter cognitive dissonance when using affirmations – especially in extreme cases where the desired change is great – if the patient or client is not properly prepared. If the person has not committed to the change, agreed that the change is something he or she is willing to attempt, affirmations will not help. When someone is not committed to achieving a goal, affirmations are literally empty words.

I’ve seen parents use affirmations with their kids in sports and other activities. They give affirmations to the kid to improve performance. Affirmations can absolutely help improve performance, if the child wants to improve.

Affirmations can help the child become a better baseball player, but they cannot help the child want to be a baseball player in the first place. The desire to be a baseball player and to improve must be present before affirmations can change the situation.

For affirmations to be successful, there must be a determination on the part of the person using the affirmations to push toward the goal. Then, and only then, can the change in thoughts created by affirmations help create the mental environment that allows the action plan to have the best chance for success.

So what is the net net of this article? Belief, commitment, desire, or all of them must be present for affirmations to succeed. Affirmations do not get you to the goal in a vacuum. They create the positive thought environment that prepares you for success, causes you to expect it, and helps you stay focused and motivated when obstacles arise.

When you have your thoughts and your actions moving positively in the same direction you are a force to be reckoned with. Affirmations – through repetition and belief – will empower your thoughts to support your powerful action in the world.

Stay inspired!

Ray

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot and an advocate for the potential of the human race.  He’s the author of the breakthrough novel Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation – order your signed copy today at AATrilogy.com

anunnaki_cover_full_colorAnunnaki Awakening: Revelation is turning heads and opening minds. Humanity’s past is checkered, secret, and dangerous.

White House Correspondent Maria Love is on to the story of her life and with the help of an Anunnaki leaders seeks to unravel and reveal history’s biggest conspiracy. The Awakening has begun!

Affirmations: Repetition and Belief Part I – The Affirmation Spot for Friday August 1, 2008

Everyone familiar with affirmations knows that repetition and belief are the two keys to success with them. The reason is that each addresses a separate part of the thought change process. Today, I am going to tackle repetition and I will discuss belief in my next article.

The reason for repetition with affirmations seems obvious. The more you think or speak or hear a thought, the more it sinks into your consciousness. That makes sense.

The repetition aspect of using affirmations is not targeted at your conscious mind. In fact, your conscious mind can be an obstacle to repeating affirmations often enough. After you use an affirmation a few times, your conscious mind is probably self-talking, “OK already, I get it. You can stop.”

Affirmation repetition is targeted to your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind is harder to change than your conscious thoughts. It has a longer memory and clings to concepts more tenaciously. Your subconscious mind works by association. For most people, many of these associations developed in childhood when adult reasoning was not possible.

Whereas your conscious mind analyzes a tiger at the zoo – it’s beautiful, big, a cat, interesting; your subconscious mind tends to do immediate association tiger=scary. That’s why your conscious reaction to something is sometimes overridden by unconscious feelings, emotions, and thoughts that “rise from the depths.”

You cannot just affirm, “I am a smart person,” or “I am a great baseball player,” or “I am healthier every day,” ten times and expect it to really impact your subconscious. That is insufficient to counter long-held and often repeated opposing beliefs about these things.

While your conscious mind may be chiding you the 100th or the 1000th time you use an affirmation, it is just starting to sink into your subconscious. Repetition is the best way to allow subconscious absorption of new, simple ideas. That’s all affirmations are: simple, positive thoughts and ideas designed to replace limiting thoughts and ideas holding you back in life.

In education circles, they call it rote learning. Rote is the way you learned that 8 x 7 = 56. The first few times you did that problem you may have had to write tick marks on paper and count them or count on your fingers. Eventually, through repetition, you learned to immediately recognize 8 x 7 as 56 without thinking.

That’s the goal with affirmations. The difference is that you had no subsconscious notions that told you 8 x 7 was not 56. You accepted it as the truth and you incorporated it. With thoughts and ideas, you are battling against these notions. You’re subconscious might have learned at some point that 8 x 7 = 46 or worse that 8 x 7 absolutely under no circumstances equals 56.

These thoughts might be that, “When I try I always fail,” or “There is no way I can be a success. My parents weren’t successes. No one I know is a success.”

When you approach an opportunity for success these subconscious beliefs either hold you back or sabotage you somehow to reconfirm your belief in the old vision of you. That’s why changing those ideas is so important because that process works in reverse – in your favor – when your beliefs are affirming.

You cannot dislodge these ideas by saying or listening to an affirmation a few times. In fact, that’s why most people fail with affirmations. They stop using them thinking they are not working. You have to soak the ground with the new ideas so their seeds can germinate and grow.

“OK,” you’re thinking, “I get the concept, but if these thoughts are subconscious how can I know the affirmations are making a difference?”Great question. There are a couple of ways you’ll notice the change.

  • Perceptible improvement – you may notice some perceptible improvement in your perception or performance around the subject of the affirmation or affirmations.
  • Lightening mood – you may find your general mood lighten or that you feel better or more confident.
  • Negative self-talk overridden – best of all, you will start noticing your negative self-talk being interrupted and countered by the new positive thoughts on a conscious level. When the subconscious serves up, “You can’t do that,” your self-talk corrects, “Yes, I can.”

How long and how much repetition varies from person to person and situation to situation. Belief, which I will discuss in the next article, accounts for a lot the results we see from the repetition in the real world.

There are two ways for affirmations to access and change your subconscious ideas:

  1. Intentionally -the intentional approach involves consciously saying the affirmation, reading it, or listening to it with the goal of letting it soak in. The main disadvantage to this approach is the conscious mind’s negative self talk blocking full impact.
  2. Passively – passively absorbing affirmations is best accomplished by listening to them. By listening to them over and over while your conscious mind is doing something else, you bypass a lot of the negative self-talk that might deflate the effort.

After repetition, you’ll experience that same feeling you do when you have unconsciously learned the lyrics of a song or the words to a commercial. You’ll find your affirmation “appearing” in your mind and doing their work against against your limiting thoughts.

Stay inspired!

Ray

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot and an advocate for the potential of the human race.  He’s the author of the breakthrough novel Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation – order your signed copy today at AATrilogy.com

anunnaki_cover_full_colorAnunnaki Awakening: Revelation is turning heads and opening minds. Humanity’s past is checkered, secret, and dangerous.

White House Correspondent Maria Love is on to the story of her life and with the help of an Anunnaki leaders seeks to unravel and reveal history’s biggest conspiracy. The Awakening has begun!

Dreaded WWOPT Disease Paralyzes – The Affirmation Spot for Friday July 18, 2008

 

We hear a lot about diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and even hypothetical epidemics like bird flu. Because of their impact and ubiquity, these conditions deserve the attention they receive.

However, there is a condition that afflicts more people than all of these diseases combined.  In fact, it’s very likely you will be impacted by this condition, or its side effects, several times today. It can stop your life cold.

Symptoms include sweaty palms, a racing heart, self-consciousness, stress, headaches, and life paralysis. This condition affects poor and rich, famous and obscure, young and old. No one is immune.

It has prevented more great thoughts, limited more potential, destroyed more possibilities than anything on the planet. The condition is “What Will Other People Think (WWOPT)?”

Perhaps because our society is so enamored with popularity and status, many of us are deathly afraid to do anything that might be seen as being “out there”. We prefer to stay safely in the herd. Thinking the herd’s thoughts. Following the herd’s lead. Parroting the herd’s conventional (and usually disempowering) wisdom.

This is one of those instances of a positive attribute being turned against you. Humans are social creatures. Most of us have a strong need to be part of a group. These instincts help us cooperate and collaborate to get things done.

That attribute must be balanced, though, by empowered selfhood that can break from the group and create something unique and special – something all your own. That’s one of the main reasons you are here – to contribute your uniqueness to the universe.

When that process is short-circuited by WWOPT we become paralyzed in our lives.

  • “That dress is a little crazy and I like it, but WWOPT?”
  • “I don’t agree with the politcal mainstream, but I can’t express it because WWOPT?”
  • “I want to wear a bathing suit at the beach, but my body’s not perfect and WWOPT?”
  • “I want to be a romance author, but WWOPT?”
  • “I’m not happy in my spiritual life, but I can’t change because WWOPT?”
  • “My wife and I want to sell our possessions, buy a mobile home, and travel America, but WWOPT?”

The mass media uses this instinct against you to create a kind of subconscious servitude to what’s trendy, acceptable, and popular. It really is a form of not-so-subtle mind control. It establishes boudaries of what is acceptable and what is not (at least in your mind). It’s very powerful and gets more so every time you fail to establish a powerful selfhood as a counterbalance.

It seems OK because almost everyone you know is also stuck in WWOPT. We often provide negative encouragement by using WWOPT to convince our friends to stay where they are (where we are) – comfortable and uninspired.

Here’s what you can do to treat WWOPT. Sometime today – I can almost guarantee it – you’re going to have a thought or an idea that brings you momentary satisfaction at the thought of pursuing it.

If you’re afflicted with WWOPT, your self-talk is going to shoot down your idea. It’s going to tell you all the reasons that would never work and it’s going to employ WWOPT as its closing argument in squashing your dream. Or, maybe the idea survives your self-talk long enough to be shared with a friend who dismisses it as “crazy talk”.

You could feel stupid for even thinking such a thing. You know the drill because you’ve done it a hundred, a thousand times before. You chastise yourself. You feel your happiness drain away as your dream dies…the victim of WWOPT.

Or instead, as soon as this happens, and every time it does from now on, you can choose a different path. You can shout (not literally unless you want to because you’re no longer worried by WWOPT), “I have a right to be me and to think for myself! I am choosing to pursue my dreams!” Say it to yourself two or three times, if that’s what it takes.

Put your internal and external naysayers on notice that you are not going to be stopped by WWOPT anymore. Once you break through that fearful barrier, you will see it was nothing but smoke and mirrors.

You’re going to explore what it means to be you, to think like you, and to act like you. That’s what you’re here to do, my friend. Success comes not to those who wait with the herd, but to those who step out on their own and create something different.

Oddly enough, the herd really loves to follow someone like that. :o)

Stay inspired!

Ray


www.theaffirmationspot.com offers downloadable mp3 affirmations for nearly every area of life – sports, sales, wealth and prosperity, health and fitness – to name just a few. Our library is growing all the time. Remember your fifth affirmation on each order is always free.


Mirror, Mirror on the Wall – The Affirmation Spot for Tuesday July 15, 2008

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. When was the last time you looked into your soul?

Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror? I mean really look at yourself? I’m not talking about the kind of superficial looking you do when you comb your hair or put on your make up. I’m not talking about the kind of looking you do when you judge yourself because you added five extra pounds.

I mean really meditating on that person facing you in the mirror. I mean looking deeply into his or her eyes.

You look into the eyes of every other person you care about. Why not your own? Have you ever stopped and really become totally aware of that person staring back at you? Are you ever completely conscious that is YOU staring back?

If you’ve never done that or it has been a while, I want to encourage you to do it today. Take a few moments and really look at the person staring back at you in the mirror. It may seem a little uncomfortable at first, but stay with it until you really connect.

What potential does that person possess? What is he or she doing well? Where are the areas of potential improvement? Who are you? Where have you been? Where are you going?

When you look deeply you see that you have so many gifts, talents, and blessings. When you look deeper still you see that the form in front of you is just the shell of something far greater.

You see, we humans have this tendency to get caught up in the physical and the tangible. Those parts of us are the proverbial tip of the iceberg in comparison to the nonphysical and intangible parts of us.

When you have your mirror moment look deeply and with compassion. The person you find staring back is full of more potential, more possibility than you could ever have imagined.

Once you get past the shell and see the soul all things become possible.

Stay inspired!

Ray