Playing With A Full Deck – The Affirmation Spot for Monday December 1, 2008

Today’s Affirmation:

“My imagination overflows with great writing ideas.”
(click the affirmation to hear it in mp3)

cards_royal_flushIt occurred to me the other day that life is a little bit like a card game. We are all dealt a hand at the beginning of the game. Some are dealt powerful hands while others are dealt difficult hands. Either situation is fraught with pitfalls and full of potential.

The person dealt the strong hand may experience life as soft and easy, but never truly be challenged to live up to his or her full potential. The daily news headlines are filled with stories of people who “have it all” and yet behave in ways that are “self-destructive”.

Meanwhile, people who were dealt terrible hands at the beginning of the game achieve great things all the time.

Remember the following 10 rules to the card game of life.

  1. Everyone, regardless of the hand they are dealt, is playing with a full deck. I guarantee it.
  2. Every possible hand is in that deck for every person.
  3. There are many possible winning hands in the deck.
  4. The hand you are dealt at the beginning of the game, wonderful or awful, is just fate.
  5. If you spend your life worrying about the hand others were dealt and thinking it is unfair; you’ll never get anywhere.
  6. If you spend your life thinking you earned the good opening hand instead of working to make the most of it; you’ll never get anywhere either.
  7. If you start with a good hand, but play your cards foolishly you can fail.
  8. If you start with a poor hand, but play your cards wisely you can succeed.
  9. Every day is a new opportunity to reshuffle the deck.
  10. The game is never over until the last card is played.

Freeing Your Mind – The Affirmation Spot for Friday October 24, 2008

Today’s idea:

“The mark of a moderate person is freedom from his own ideas. Tolerant like the sky, all-pervading like sunlight, firm like a mountain, supple like a tree in the wind; she has no destination in view and makes use of anything life happens to bring her way.”

Tao Te Ching, Verse 59

Most of us like to consider ourselves open-minded and fair. We like to think we look at things objectively and tolerantly. The fact is, however, that our life experiences have indoctrinated and biased our views.

Most of us are not, as Lao Tzu suggests, “free from our own ideas.”

The mention of certain words or concepts evokes waves of emotion that have little to do with the concept and a lot to do with the mental baggage we have accumulated. Worse, our views are often formed based on what other people have told us rather than what we ourselves know.

Since awareness is the doorway to understanding; let’s do a little test.

I’m going to list some words. As you read each word, take a moment to listen to your reaction. I’m not saying you should feel one way or the other about any of these words or the concepts they conjure. I’m simply suggesting you become aware of your blind spots and prejudices so that you can release them and truly deal with life in the open and honest way you want to.

Some of these words may cause little reaction within you, while others may cause a strong, visceral reaction. Becoming aware of your reactions is a very empowering way to take back control of your own thinking.

Ready? Read the words one at a time (silently if you like) and pay attention to your reaction.

  • New and Improved
  • Capitalism
  • Communism
  • Sarah Palin
  • Barack Obama
  • Democrat
  • Republican
  • Christian
  • Jew
  • Muslim
  • Buddhist
  • Hindu
  • Immigrant
  • Labor union
  • Russia
  • Israel
  • Corporation
  • Old
  • Young
  • Fat
  • Freedom
  • Fear
  • Math
  • Wall Street
  • Science
  • Religion
  • War
  • Peace
  • Terrorism
  • Love
  • Hate
  • Rich
  • Poor
  • Environmentalism
  • Profit

The Greek sage Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” The more you examine and pay attention to your auto-reaction to things the better able you are to look at each circumstance with fresh, unconditioned eyes.

The key to freeing your mind is to ask yourself why. Why does this word evoke this emotion? What information is that feeling based on? Where did I get that information? How do I know that information is accurate? It takes a lot of strength to really examine your unconscious assumptions.

You don’t have to use this list. You can make your own list of emotionally charged words and explore your feelings.

The fact is that – for better or worse – words that create unconscious reactions when they are even uttered hold the potential to be used as manipulation. An empowered thinker is able to set aside the initial reaction and explore what is being said beyond the word.

We see this all the time in political campaigns. Labels start getting tossed around. The labels are a kind of psychological warfare because the labelers know people react to those words.

You may find that this approach helps you break free from old programming and allows you to move forward in your life.

Know thyself!

Ray

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Wayne Dyer: Change The Way You Look at Things

Today’s thought:
“When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change.”

~Wayne Dyer

Dr. Wayne Dyer was a world famous motivation expert. His writings and teachings have played a huge role in the turnaround I experienced in my life. He sold millions of books and continues to sell out venues around The United States.

Wayne had a unique way of taking deep spiritual and psychological principles and making them simple and easy to apply to our lives.

The following clip was taken from one of his numerous appearances on PBS over the years. He is discussing how we look for solutions to our internal situations in the outside world.

Runtime: 3 minutes 36 seconds

Here are more than 30 motivational quotes from Wayne.

Wayne’s Website

Stay inspired!

Ray

For great motivational content, visit the TAS YouTube channel.

The Power of Our Thoughts in the Financial Crisis – The Affirmation Spot for Monday September 29, 2008

The current global economic crisis clearly demonstrates the power of our thoughts to influence the world around us. Markets are case studies in human psychology. They are a kind of collective mind in action. Our thoughts are really the force that drives them up or down.

The issue becomes who is driving the thinking? Who is creating expectation bubbles and who is popping them? It’s another reason to empower your own thoughts rather than allowing them to be driven by “experts”, politicians, or the media.

When housing prices, the stock market, or any other market rises it is the result of our thinking about them and our belief in them.

It’s not brilliant economic strategies, astute politicians, or suddenly realized value in houses and other assets that causes them to rise 15% per year. Prosperity and rising markets are created by our thinking. As long as our thinking is confident, things are good. When our thinking shifts to fear or worry about markets they begin to contract.

There is a certain collective nature to thinking about these things. When the thinking reaches critical mass (one way or the other) changes happen in the market.

As with other aspects of our lives, our thinking inevitably leads to our actions. When belief and confidence are strong our actions reflect the belief that growth will continue. The danger lies in believing that growth is an uninterrupted straight line. It is possible to make poor decisions or take unwise actions that can lead to problems.

That’s what we see in the current crisis. Very powerful financial companies made some bad bets on based on optimistic assessments. They wrongly concluded that the boom would go on forever and they got over-extended. Because of lax oversight and questionable business practices, they stretched optimism to fantasy land.

Mind you, when this happens real – sometimes negative – events happen in the world.  I’m not saying that thinking can avert the results of bad decisions or actions. I’m saying it is the impetus that drives the market one way or the other.

Why am I talking about this today? As Congress ponders an (imho) ill-advised bailout of Wall Street, the seeds of fear have been planted in the market (our minds) by financial and political leaders. They have set up a scenario that creates a crash, if their bill ($700 billion bailout) is not passed.

Planting these thoughts creates the negative thinking that will bring about a crash, if we are not careful.

The bailout is based on a logical fallacy called There Is No Alternative (TINA). TINA happens when someone says there is a problem and offers a single solution as the only possible course of action. This is almost never the case. It limits thinking into a narrow path of possibility. The fact is we live in a universe full of infinite possibilities. As citizens and people, we need to be on guard against people trying to limit our thinking. It smacks of manipulation and pushing us towards an outcome desired by a small group of people.

In reality, though, we can minimize the extent of these economic events by maintaining stable thinking and not over-reacting. Panic is created when the entire herd decides to run off the cliff – again based on a thought that “there is not enough I better get mine.” That’s what happened in 1929 and caused the great stock market crash that resulted in the Great Depression.

If optimism creates growing markets and pessimism create shrinking markets, it stands to reason that stable thinking can stabilize shaky markets.

A combination of accountability for those who have made bad choices and stable thinking will get us through this situation. Never forget, though, how important the way you think about these events is to how they will come out. Your thinking is a powerful thing. Never underestimate it.

Stay inspired!

Ray

Psychology of Seasons – The Affirmation Spot for Tuesday September 23, 2008

This morning at 10:44 US Central time the northern hemisphere passed from Summer to Autumn. Seasonal changes represent more than climatic transition. They also alter our psychology.

Our ancestors truly recognized and appreciated the meaning of the seasons. They celebrated and revered the cycles of the seasons.

The life that comes to be in the Spring and flourishes in Summer begins to dwindle in the Fall. Today’s post is a poem I wrote in 1993. I hope it captures the magic and meaning of the transition to Fall.

aaa

Psychology of Seasons

A sun-drenched sky
on windy autumn day;
out across open fields
passing clouds make shadow play.

Silent beauty in multi-hues,
but ominous in a sense;
for though today be delightful
darkness soon gains precedence.

Shortly days will end too soon
as the leaves of autumn blow.
The gods withhold their aid
to the lifeforms down below.

A chill permeates the air
and death is all around.
Evidenced by dying trees:
their leaves spread on the ground.

Depression need not be our course;
all things must come to pass.
Death is an integral part of life;
perennial as fields of grass.

For very soon rebirth takes place
and all springs back to life.
To our hearts the glow returns,
bringing end to stress and strife.

Given time we come to find
and perhaps appreciate
the coming of darkness and death
who’s end gives cause to celebrate.

Copyright 1993, 1997

Stay inspired!

Ray

Possibilities and Options Abound!- The Affirmation Spot for Thursday August 21, 2008

Today’s Affirmation:

“I find opportunities everywhere I go.” (audio version)


Possibilities and options abound! A gentle rain is falling in Kansas this evening. It’s a rather cool night for mid August and the smell of the rain is strong. I always love these early glimpses of the coming Fall.

Possibilities and options abound! The rain was not falling all in one place. It was falling everywhere. When the Sun comes up tomorrow it will not shine all of its light in one spot. It will shine equally on everything. Life is ubiquitous! It grows everywhere. Try to stop it. You can’t.

Possibilities and options abound! There is more than one way to do or think or feel about everything. In most cases, there is more than two ways. Why do we limit ourselves or allow others to limit our thinking?

Possibilities and options abound! Life is a both/and not an either/or. Pay attention today to how many times your mind or someone else tries to tell you that the world is either this way or that way.

Possibilities and options abound! When it happens, ask yourself, “If the rain falls everywhere, and the Sun shines everywhere, and life fills every empty space, why must I be so limited in my thoughts, feelings, or actions?”

Possibilities and Options Abound! Either/or thinking really limits your options to one course. That way of thinking usually leaves you with one “perfect” option and one “terrible” option – a black and white decision. In other words, it leaves you with no choice.

Possibilities and options abound! By moving beyond either/or thinking an entire colorful world of possibility emerges. A thousand maybes create a richer life than either/or ever could.

Possibilities and options abound!

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.





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.