The Placebo Effect – Words and Beliefs Are Powerful

Happy Wednesday, my friends.

You probably know that the first hurdle every prospective drug must jump is The Placebo Effect. Did you know, though, that it averages about 22 percent?

I’m not surprised is you didn’t. It’s not a number the pharmaceutical industry has a vested of interest in advertising. That means, on average, patients taking a pill, with no known curative affects, get better 22 percent of the time just because they believe they’re taking medicine that will help them.

That’s WITHOUT even trying. Imagine how powerful your mind can be when you focus on an outcome.

It’s not to say that we don’t need medicine or that our thinking alone can heal us. I think it’s powerful tool in your toolkit, though, and one you certainly want working with you and not against you.

Your beliefs and your words have so much power! They can help you be braver, stronger, and more resilient. Here are a few #Rayquotes to add to the magnificent manifester that is your mind.

Just in case no one else has reminded you today, you ARE awesome!

Ray

Go Confidently in the Direction of Your Dreams – Day 331 of 365 Days to a Better You

Have you ever been on an absolute mission to get something done? You’re on a deadline at work or you’ve got errands that need to be done before you can play? It’s amazing how much faster you move, how much more focused you are when you’re on a mission, isn’t it?

Obstacles don’t seem like obstacles because you’re determined to push through to the end. Distractions fade into the background because all you see is the goal.

The great Henry David Thoreau wrote the following in his seminal work, Walden.

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

He was describing this state, this zone you get into when you go confidently in the direction of your dreams.

Joseph Campbell summarized this idea, “Follow your bliss and doors will open where before there were only walls and where there would not be a door for anyone else.”

Thoreau promises, when you get into this zone, that you will meet with success “unexpected in common hours.”

To me, his reference to common hours here is a reference to ordinary consciousness or our ordinary thinking. He’s describing a state where you’re transcendent, on fire for your purpose.

When you’re in your normal thinking, all you can often see is the reasons WHY NOT about your goals in dreams. When you move into this uncommon state, your dreams appear right there for you. You experience that Saturday morning push to get the chores done, but sustained and in steroids. You’re on a mission and it shows.

One last word about this altered state for success. It’s not a stress-filled Type-A mindset. It’s the opposite. Thoreau discovered this state while living in solitude and simplicity. Stress is the ego talking. “Move out of the way,” it proclaims, “I’ll do it.”

You give up that need for control. You become a vessel for the process. This is the Tao that does nothing g, but leaves nothing undone. This is the message in the Bhagavad Gita to detach yourself from outcomes and just purely and simply act.

You’re not writing a book. There’s a book that wants to be written and it’s using your mind and your time to achieve its end. It’s a subtle but powerful shift in consciousness.

When you let the universe unfold in you in this way, you will go confidently in the direction of your dreams and achieve what you could never have imagined.

Just in case no one else has reminded you today, you’re awesome!

Ray

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Ask Bigger, Better Questions – Day 324 of 365 Days to a Better You

You may remember earlier in our journey we discussed how there are no dumb questions. Today I want to expand on that and encourage you to ask bigger and better questions.

If we want bigger answers in our lives, for our species, and for the planet, we must ask BIGGER questions. If we want better answers, we must ask better questions.

Lives and civilizations thrive or fail based on the size and the quality of the questions they ask. If you want to profoundly shift your life, you’ve got to be willing to put everything on the table in your evaluation of it. The questions you asked or never asked, that created your current life are not big enough or smart enough to create the next better version of you,

“OK. Makes sense,” you might say, “but how do I ask bigger, better questions?”

  1. Go deeper – to ask the questions that really matter and can really change things, you have to understand who you are and what you want at a fundamental level.
  2. Be authentic- once you understand who you are and what you want, be authentic. Don’t run away from it no matter how scary or paradigm-shattering it may seem.
  3. Getting from here to there – just like you look at a map before getting in your car to drive someplace new, you have to map what getting from who you are to who you want to be looks like.
  4. Formulate your questions – who or what do you need to challenge or change? What ideas and paradigms have to shift? Ask more WHY and WHAT IF questions. These questions get to what matters and challenge paradigms.

By doing this, you’ll find that the questions you ask as you move through life each day will shift from:

  • What do I want to eat?
  • What do I want to watch on TV?
  • Where do I want to go on vacation this year?
  • What do people think of me?

To:

  • Does this job still fulfill me? If not, what career would serve me better at this point in my life?
  • Why do I want to be a screenwriter and how can I make that happen?
  • What would my life look like if I chose to be authentically me instead who I was pushed to be?
  • What if money and time were not an object? Who would I be then?
  • Why am I just getting by instead of living my dreams?
  • How can I make the biggest difference?
  • How could we have a next-level relationship?
  • What if war isn’t inevitable and peace impossible?

The bigger and better your questions, the bigger and better the universe’s answers. Unasked questions rarely receive answers. The very act of asking opens doors, gets your mind working on the how, and inspires your why to make it happen.

Just in case no one else reminds you today, you are AWESOME!

Ray

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It’s GO Time! – Day 289 of 365 Days to a Better You

Today is another double down catch up day.

There can be no argument that most human aspirations, including yours and mine, have not failed because we were defeated , lacked skills, or lacked knowledge. The overwhelming majority of the dreams shattered in our lives died on the sword of inaction.

Your intentions were good. Your motivation was initially high. Then you allowed life to intervene. Time pressures forced you to keep setting your dream aside. You listened to the voices of the naysayers. Pretty soon your passion was gone, the moment was missed, and you piled that dream on the heap of other abandoned dreams.

THE most important part of achieving anything is to escape the gravity of the starting line. It keeps pulling you back into old habits and makes tomorrow your favorite word in the language. Soon the tomorrows become years and you find yourself living in the empty river bed of a dream that once flowed through you with the power of the spring melt.

Start! Just start. By starting, you’re ahead of at least 90 percent of other dreamers. By starting, you gain momentum that gets harder to sidetrack. By starting, you declare your intention to the universe.

Here are 15 amazing “Getting Started” quotes to get your engine going.

  1. Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. -Arthur Ashe
  2. Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. ~John Wooden
  3. The secret to getting ahead is to get started. -Mark Twain
  4. The wise one does at once what the fool does last. -Balthasar Gracian
  5. You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do. -Henry Ford
  6. You can’t plan for everything or you never get started in the first place. -Jim Butcher
  7. Don’t let perfectionism become an excuse for never getting started. -Marilu Henner
  8. Start by doing what is necessary; then do what’s possible; suddenly you’ll find yourself doing the impossible. -St. Francis of Assisi
  9. You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. -Zig Ziglar
  10. The way to get started is to stop talking and start doing. -Walt Disney
  11. If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one. -Dolly Parton
  12. All glory comes from daring to begin. -Eugene F. Ware
  13. He has half the deed done who has made a beginning. -Horace
  14. How wonderful it is that nobody has to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. -Anne Frank
  15. To be old can be glorious, if one has not unlearned how to begin. -Martin Buber

Your greatest victories await your beginning. Begin now. As the saying goes, There’s no time like the present.

 Ray

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Five Steps to Constant Motivation – Day 234 of 365 Days to a Better You

You often hear sportscasters talk about a team getting “Big Mo” on their side. In that context, they’re referring to momentum. I’m talking about the other “Big Mo” – motivation. If you have the latter, I can practically guarantee you’ll have the the former.

What is Motivation?

It’s an internalized drive that pulls your powers of heart, mind, and body in a purposeful direction. It pushes you toward action and achievement and away from stagnation and procrastination. It’s something within that lights your fire, drives ambition, gives you a zest for life, and provides a reason for getting up in the morning.

Where Does It Come From?

Inspiration. Many use motivation and inspiration interchangeably. They’re similar concepts, but their source is different. While motivation is the internal fire, inspiration is the external spark that lights it. Ate you looking for motivation? The good news is its inspiration can come from a million places – a movie, a book, an experience, a sudden insight, a conversation with a friend. There’s no end to the constant sparks around you ready, as soon as you’re willing, to light that fire inside.

How to Make Motivation Work for You

Great! Now you know what motivation is and where you can dip your candle to get the flame going. How do you use it and keep it burning?

  1. Purpose – undirected motivation is a fire that soon flickers out. You must have a compelling goal that keeps feeding the fire.
  2. Action – stationary motivation quickly fizzles. Once you have a purpose, start moving toward it. Don’t wait. Procrastination is water on your fire.
  3. Goals – your purpose is a big, all encompassing target. Have small, achievable goals along the way towards it. Nothing feeds the fire like success.
  4. Celebrate – celebrate those little successes along the way. This adds incentive to keep acting in the direction of your goals and purpose.
  5. Dream – dream big, colorful dreams that employ as many of your senses as possible. The more senses that are involved the more real the dream. While goals are the intellectual objectives, dreaming is the emotional engine that keeps the whole train moving down the track. It sucks in the inspiration from all around you and keeps pushing you to act.

If you do these five things, rinse, and repeat, you’ll never be unmotivated in your life again.

Have a beautiful and MOTIVATED day!

Ray

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