One of the keys to success in any area of your life is staying focused on what’s important in a given situation or period of time. What you most desire – your goals – are inseparably connected to your highest values, certain core emotional yearnings you are hardwired, as a human being, to aspire to realize.
The key to realizing what you want therefore lies not only in your ability to stay focused on your goals, but also the skill of cultivating and holding fast to an impassioned understanding of the connection between your goals and your deepest values. It’s about getting your brain to work for you, optimally, with you.
Connecting what you want to higher values?
You can realize amazing things in your life and relationships when you understand the power of your focused attention. No longer theory, there are complex processes that are automatically handled by the ‘operating system’ of your brain and body, also known as the subconscious or unconscious mind. What you pay attention to expands.
Simultaneously, certain core universal yearnings or values operate automatically, in that, these hardwired emotional drive/needs, consciously or subconsciously, motivate human behaviors akin to human physical drives for sustenance.
More precisely, what we’re talking about here is how to make this a conscious process, something that you, and not your subconscious mind, are in charge of.
As long as you remain a passive bystander, your subconscious mind will be solely in control of forming or changing your habits, guessing what goals and wants best fulfill your deepest yearnings. Of course it gets it wrong perhaps most of the time. That’s because many of the perceptions that it relies on (i.e., about what you need to do to matter in life) were imprinted subconsciously when you were a small child!
Additionally, your subconscious mind automatic releases feel-good and feel-bad hormones, and cannot discern between feel-good options that are healthy (i.e., nutritious food) or toxic (i.e., junk food, drugs), and feel-bad options that are toxic (i.e., poison) or healthy (i.e., facing a fear of conflict). It’s up to conscious you, and your wise-self to discipline and ‘teach’ or ‘train’ your mind and body to adopt healthy choices.
Ten steps to infuse your goals with momentum.
Speaking of goals, studies shows people who have written goals, or better yet S.M.A.R.T. goals, are more likely to realize them. It makes sense, considering that, when you take time to write something down, you automatically engage your brain in deeper processes of focused attention.
Unless you’ve achieved mastery in focusing your attention, it’s preferable to select one or two goals maximum, from your personal list of goals, to work on to complete the ten step exercise below. If you have not yet put together your own personal list, here are two lists of goals (personal and relational) to give you some ideas, from which to choose one or two goals most important to you.
Possibilities for personal goals:
Possibilities for relationship goals:
So, take out a sheet of paper and a pen and write down a goal you now select, and would like to devote yourself to infusing with action-activating passion. Begin by writing the goal down, and then complete the exercise below.
1. What do you most want?
First, clearly articulate the one goal you want to focus your mind and body’s attention on first.
EXAMPLES of goals:
2. Revise core assumptions to declare belief in yourself, and own your capacity to change.
Second, whenever you set a goal, what you’re doing is declaring your intention to make a change, whether big or small. In order to energize the power to change, you need to first check your core assumptions about yourself, your capacity for change, and so on. Revise them accordingly to declare belief in both yourself and where the source of your power to change resides – inside. When you consciously choose to believe in yourself, and your inner capabilities to empower positive change, you step into an image or vision of yourself as a responsible and caring architect and creator of your life experiences.
The reason this is so powerful is that it energizes your subconscious mind to better serve you, to learn and to be open to incorporate an empowering mindset, and an optimal set of perceptions that would best allow you to live your best life and relationships.
Three Essential Assumptions to consider adopting:
3. Why do you want what you want?
Third, consider why you want to realize this goal.
EXAMPLE of why you may want what you want:
4. Explore ‘why’ more deeply to fully understand and exhaust all reasons.
In the fourth step, look for what reasons underlie your reasons. Here you’re seeking to create an exhaustive list. To the extent you understand why you want something, you accordingly energize your inner passion for this goal.
To more deeply explore reasons, use questions such as, “What else can you say about this?” or “Is there more to this?” after each of your “why” responses you write down.
EXAMPLE of responses to “What else can you say about this?”
EXAMPLE of a response to “Is there more to this?”
EXAMPLE of another response to “Is there more to this?”
5. Explore deeper values (emotional drives or “needs”) you yearn to fulfill by meeting this goal?
In step five, you connect with the deeper values or emotional drives related to your goal, of which an overarching goal is ‘to matter’ in life. Keep in mind these universal yearnings, such as the yearning for happiness, safety, health and wellbeing, understanding, integrity, fun, emotional connection, and so on, have life-shaping power as they activate the firing and wiring of neurons that in turn determine if you take action or not, and whether the action you take leads you closer (toward) or farther (away) from your goal.
EXAMPLE of what deeper values or emotional drives that you may be seeking to fulfill by meeting this goal:
6. What do you most fear in relation achieving this goal?
Sixth, you identify what you fear most in relation to successfully realizing this goal, for example, ask yourself: “What would be the worst thing about completely achieving this goal?”
EXAMPLE of a fear in relation to achieving this goal:
7. What do you fear most in relation to failing to achieve this goal?
In step seven, you ask a similar question, but this time you seek to identify what you fear most in relation to not fulfilling this goal. Here, ask yourself the following, “What would be the worst thing about failing to achieve this goal?”
EXAMPLE of a fear in relation to failing to achieve this goal:
8. What do you declare instead for yourself?
For this step, you now declare what you aspire and yearn to happen instead. This articulates a new vision for your life.
EXAMPLES of what I declare for myself instead:
9. What action big or small will I commit to start taking today?
Next, identify a specific action or actions you can start taking right away in the direction of your goal. This step is critical because action is what seals the deal so to speak. In other words, though all steps listed above are important, essentially, one of the biggest benefits of the first seven steps is to ensure you focus your attention, so that your actions move your energies in the direction of realizing your goals (rather than scattered about).
EXAMPLES of an action step am I committed to start taking today:
10. What affirmations best serve to infuse your actions with passion and momentum?
In this final step, you formulate one or more succinct, empowering affirmations that are specific to infusing your particular goal with passion to act and maintain your momentum. This turns your goal into an statement that powerfully energizes the optimal emotional-physiological states, for your mind and body, that you need to support you to realize your goal.
EXAMPLES of affirmations that can infuse your mind and body with the high-frequency emotional energy you need to take action in the direction of realizing your goals:
No matter what your personal goal is, you can use these steps to successfully influence your subconscious to make the positive changes you desire to achieve. It takes courage and wisdom to take the reins as captain of your life.
You achieve this by working consciously with your subconscious mind, the part of the mind that controls the autonomic processes of your body. It’s essential to form a working relationship with this powerful part of your mind because it is in charge of forming or breaking habits, strategies — and even addictions.
It’s all about consciously disallowing your body’s sensory system, or survival response, to take over your life with default choices, by making conscious choices instead.
The key to realizing what you want rests in your ability to remain consciously focused on what you really, really want, and simultaneously hold an impassioned understanding of the connection between realizing your goals, big or small, and fulfilling core emotional drives, to energize the momentum and action you need in the direction of realizing what you aspire.
Why not soar like an eagle? You always have a choice to put your life in high gear with conscious-love in action.
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Last reviewed: 16 Jun 2012