Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Trevor Blake on 8 ways to achieve results more consistently and more effectively.
Trevor is a serial entrepreneur and author of Three Simple Steps: A Map to Success in Business and Life, a New York Times best seller. Three Simple Steps is a book that builds on the wisdom of great thinkers and accomplished individuals from East and West, and shows you how to take back control of your destiny and reshape your mind for increased creativity, serenity and achievement.
In this post, Trevor outlines some of the ways you can approach how you make things happen in your life in a way that creates confidence, allows for the unexpected, and can lead to bigger results that you originally thought possible.
Without further ado, here’s Trevor …
Can you transform ideas into achievements? Of course! In nature, a seed does not analyze why or how it will turn into a tree and a caterpillar does not hold a think tank about the benefits of becoming a butterfly. Nature functions effortlessly.
By working with the simple laws of physics, people can do the same thing, but we can achieve the results we want consciously, using the power of our mind. Whatever you’d like to achieve in the coming year, here are eight steps to help you succeed.
Be For Something, Not Against Something Else.
MRI data show that thoughts are packets of energy that have no choice but to obey the laws of physics. Energy cannot be destroyed, only converted into matter. A thought such as, "I want to quit smoking," can result only in the experience of wanting to quit smoking. Nothing changes. The first step to achieving that wish is to convert your thought into something that represents the positive thing you are for. Think about how better off your body and life would be without nicotine. Think about being able to climb a flight of stairs without gasping for air. Then your thought becomes something like, "I am fit, healthy, and can climb any hill or staircase effortlessly." When those thoughts convert, your brain’s focus on a need for nicotine falls away and is replaced by a need for fresh air.
Imagine Your Success as Already Achieved.
The latest neuroscience data show conclusively that the brain cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined. In a recent Harvard study, volunteers who practiced the piano and those who simply imagined practicing the piano both experienced growth in the same area of their brain associated with motor skills. Take advantage of that. Just after you wake, and just before you go to sleep, imagine what you desire as already achieved. Imagine how it feels to have that perfect job, business, or relationship. Imagine yourself in the situation, and use all your senses to experience it mentally.
Belief is Not Necessary.
The laws of physics do not need you to believe in them for them to do their work effectively. Even if you don’t have faith, your life changes. That means you can dispense with all those goal-setting techniques that recommend baby steps. A simple seed can become a giant oak without ever stopping to think about it. Success is the same. You can achieve it in spite of yourself.
Strive for a Sense of "Knowing."
Knowing something is achievable is a higher level of thought than believing something is achievable. We arrive at a state of knowing by imagining what we want in our lives in specific detail. To improve the detail of the imagination, we use visualization techniques. We window shop on life, visiting the best hotels and taking a coffee in the lobby, test driving our dream cars, visiting open houses in our dream location. The greater the detail, the higher the sense of knowing. Eventually we become so familiar with our target we are not surprised when it shows up.
Set an Intention Rather than a Goal.
Instead of setting a goal, which is something we don’t have that we aim to get, set an intention, which is a goal but with all the doubt about its attainment removed. State your intention as if you’ve already achieved it, with lots of specific details. For example, "After a year, my beautiful, new, sun-filled shop in the trendiest part of town swarmed with excited customers. I’ve repaid all my startup loans and I made a nice profit." Speak your intention out loud.
Don’t Ask “How.”
One of the keys to succeeding at what you want is to be open to surprises and serendipity. When I look back on my business successes I can plot a chart of how everything that happened fitted in perfectly. It is like a road map through life. I could never, however, have predicted any of it, and if I had stopped to ask how something would come to fruition, I might have stopped that flow of synchronicity. Set the intention and let life fill in the details. Don’t ask how, and you don’t need a plan.
Think Bigger than What You Desire.
If you want a raise, imagine instead that you got a promotion and a new office too. If you set your intentions much larger than your core desire, the more modest desire starts to feel extremely attainable. This is a psychological trick that helps you accept and invite success.
Most of us are familiar with the standard warning given by flight attendants to put on our own oxygen mask first, before attempting to assist someone else. Self-interest is placing one’s own needs above the needs and desires of others. It doesn’t mean being unkind or selfish. However, in order to achieve success, you have to focus on controlling your own behavior and destiny. You cannot achieve much success if the decisions you make for your life are based on the desires and demands of others.
Trevor Blake is a serial entrepreneur who started his first company with a few thousand dollars and sold it for more than $100 million. Now he’s passionate about showing others how to succeed at anything using a three-step strategy he developed, backed by the latest findings in neuroscience. He has donated more than 8,000 copies of his NYT bestseller, Three Simple Steps: A Map to Success in Business and Life (BenBella, 2012), to libraries across the US, and all profits go to cancer treatment research and development.