published in Achieving Your Dreams by Maryanne | May 7, 2010
Willpower Launches You on Your Journey
Good Habits Ensure You’ll Arrive
By Maryanne Pope
At Brian Willis’ seminar, In Pursuit of Personal Excellence, in Calgary on March 27th, his son Jesse also spoke. I found Jesse’s messages extremely helpful but unsettling. His honesty hit a little too close to home for comfort. Literally. Jesse framed his presentation around his personal experience losing a significant amount of weight. My Aha! moments weren’t weight-related but they were worth their weight in gold.
Sometimes it just takes something seemingly small to trigger a realization
Jesse’s trigger – the moment he realized something had to change – was seeing the scale read 280 pounds.
My trigger came last fall with the realization that I HAD to sell my beloved home. Although my dream of moving to the ocean certainly motivated me to pull my head out of the sand and get my house ready to put on the market, the reality was that in order for me to get back on track financially, I would have to get out of debt. And to do that, I’d have to sell my house.
Houston…we have a problem
Recognizing that a problem exists is one matter; accepting that what we are presently doing to fix it is NOT working is quite another.
Jesse’s moment of truth came after he’d made himself throw up after eating – again – and then looked in the mirror. He didn’t like what he saw. For me, it was looking at my negative bank balance and maxed-out credit card and line of credit statements month after month. I didn’t like what I saw.
There is no ‘magic bullet’
Jesse’s approach to losing weight was a quick fix for short-term results – with serious long-term health implications. Likewise, getting myself out of debt by selling my home and moving to a different province is not solving the problem. It’s a temporary solution…albeit one that I’m very grateful for.
However, if I don’t address the underlying beliefs towards money that got me into this pickle in the first place – and subsequently change the habits that reinforce these beliefs – the only thing that will change in BC is the view outside my window.
Otherwise, in a few years, I will find myself in exactly the same position as I am now: financially over-extended, living beyond my means, servicing debt instead of saving and investing in my future, running a non-profitable business and wasting precious energy worrying about money – instead of putting making money high on my priority list.
“A lack of money is merely a symptom of what is going on underneath.” – T. Harv Ecker, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
How is it possible that I – who was left in excellent financial shape after my police officer husband died in the line of duty ten years ago – have managed to get into debt?
“If you come into big money when you’re not ready for it on the inside,” wrote T. Harv Ecker, “the chances are your wealth will be short-lived and you will lose it.”
Here’s the skinny: my husband’s death gave me the financial opportunity to fulfill my dream of becoming a writer. To say I experienced some guilt about this fact would be the understatement of the year. And to be honest, I don’t think I fully realized just how deep my guilt ran until my financial statements started indicating an alarming trend. And yet, in one form or another, I still proceeded to give the bulk of my money – and my time – away over the next ten years. Why?
Because deep down – right or wrong – I believed that was blood money and therefore I had no right to profit from John’s death.
Well guess what? That’s exactly what happened.
When you strip away all the excuses, all that’s left is RESPONSIBILITY
This was the point in Jesse’s presentation where I really wanted to crawl under the table. For I have somehow hard-wired my mind with some pretty sweet excuses justifying why I’m not currently making significant amounts of money as a writer: a) I don’t really need it because I have a secure personal income; b) making a living as a writer is supposedly very difficult to do and; c) marketing and sales is awfully hard work and not a lot of fun.
The time has come for me to shed my excuses and take responsibility for my future.
Here are some suggestions from Jesse that I’m working on implementing:
- Create an image of yourself that is so strong, you are compelled to take steps towards achieving it. Imagery is vital. Visualize what you want to achieve…create an image of what you want to be and work towards that.
- Educate yourself…knowledge is power!
- Find out about what is really going on versus what someone wants you to think is going on
- Take the best and dump the rest
- Develop healthy self talk.
- The most powerful conversations you will ever have will be the ones in your own mind
- If you take the approach of “all or nothing,” it will probably be nothing – this is human nature
- The key is take small steps such as walking around the block or investing $50 a month
- Small steps will turn into big things
- Often when you stop looking for immediate results, that’s when results start to happen
- Choose achievable goals
- Develop good habits
- Create new habits that are effective and work for you
- It takes 21 days for a new habit to kick in
- Start wherever you are
- Don’t wait for the conditions to be perfect – they never will be
Willpower gets you going on your journey
Willpower is like a rocket booster: it launches you in the direction you want to go. However, at some point, willpower will fall off…rocket boosters are designed that way. It is good habits that will ensure you arrive at your destination.
A better term for failure is feedback
Jesse reminded me that nobody gets to a successful place in life without some setbacks. As such, I am choosing to look at my current financial situation as powerful feedback that although the decisions I made over the past decade were the best I could make at the time, the mindset behind those decisions is no longer working for me.
So instead, I am now actively educating myself on financial matters, analyzing and changing my beliefs towards money, shifting my thoughts to reflect a positive, abundant attitude and continually tweaking my daily habits – such as tackling my writing and marketing tasks first thing in the morning – so that I can move forward towards a financially successful future.
“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It’s the strength to continue that matters.” Winston Churchill