Thursday, 27 January 2011

The Power of Positive Talk

Here is one of the most inspiring articles I have found on positive thinking. I found the logic really simple, powerful and appropriate. You may find it useful.

The Power of Positive Talk

I remember my dad teaching me the power of language at a very young age. Not only did my dad understand that specific words affect our mental pictures, but he understood words are a powerful programming factor in lifelong success.

One particularly interesting event occurred when I was eight. As a kid, I was always climbing trees, poles, and literally hanging around upside down from the rafters of our lake house. So, it came to no surprise for my dad to find me at the top of a 30-foot tree swinging back and forth. My little eight-year-old brain didn't realize the tree could break or I could get hurt. I just thought it was fun to be up so high.

My older cousin, Tammy, was also in the same tree. She was hanging on the first big limb, about ten feet below me. Tammy's mother also noticed us at the exact time my dad did. About that time a huge gust of wind came over the tree. I could hear the leaves start to rattle and the tree begin to sway. I remember my dad's voice over the wind yell, "Bart, Hold on tightly." So I did. The next thing I know, I heard Tammy screaming at the top of her lungs, laying flat on the ground. She had fallen out of the tree.

I scampered down the tree to safety. My dad later told me why she fell and I did not. Apparently, when Tammy's mother felt the gust of wind, she yelled out, "Tammy, don't fall!" And Tammy did fall. My dad then explained to me that the mind has a very difficult time processing a negative image.

In fact, people who rely on internal pictures cannot see a negative at all. In order for Tammy to process the command of not falling, her nine-year-old brain had to first imagine falling, then try to tell the brain not to do what it just imagined. Whereas, my eight-year-old brain instantly had an internal image of me hanging on tightly.

This concept is especially useful when you are attempting to break a habit or set a goal. You can't visualize not doing something. The only way to properly visualize not doing something is to actually find a word for what you want to do and visualize that. For example, when I was thirteen years old, I played for my junior high school football team. I tried so hard to be good, but I just couldn't get it together at that age. I remember hearing the words run through my head as I was running out for a pass, "Don't drop it!"

Naturally, I dropped the ball. My coaches were not skilled enough to teach us proper "self-talk." They just thought some kids could catch and others couldn't. I'll never make it pro, but I'm now a pretty good Sunday afternoon football player, because all my internal dialogue is positive and encourages me to win. I wish my dad had coached me playing football instead of just climbing trees. I might have had a longer football career. Here is a very easy demonstration to teach your kids and your friends the power of a toxic vocabulary.

Ask them to hold a pen or pencil. Hand it to them. Now, follow my instructions carefully. Say to them, "Okay, try to drop the pencil." Observe what they do. Most people release their hands and watch the pencil hit the floor. You respond, "You weren't paying attention. I said TRY to drop the pencil. Now please do it again." Most people then pick up the pencil and pretend to be in excruciating pain while their hand tries but fails to drop the pencil.

The point is made. If you tell your brain you will "give it a try," you are actually telling your brain to fail. I have a "no try" rule in my house and with everyone I interact with. Either people will do it or they won't. Either they will be at the party or they won't. I'm brutal when people attempt to lie to me by using the word try. Do they think I don't know they are really telegraphing to the world they have no intention of doing it but they want me to give them brownie points for pretended effort?

You will never hear the words "I'll try" come out of my mouth unless I'm teaching this concept in a seminar. If you "try" and do something, your unconscious mind has permission not to succeed. If I truly can't make a decision I will tell the truth. "Sorry John. I'm not sure if I will be at your party or not. I've got an outstanding commitment. If that falls through, I will be here. Otherwise, I will not. Thanks for the invite."
People respect honesty. So remove the word "try" from your vocabulary.

My dad also told me that psychologists claim it takes seventeen positive statements to offset one negative statement. I have no idea if it is true, but the logic holds true. It might take up to seventeen compliments to offset the emotional damage of one harsh criticism. These are concepts that are especially useful when raising children. Ask yourself how many compliments you give yourself daily versus how many criticisms. Heck, I know you are talking to yourself all day long. We all have internal voices that give us direction. So, are you giving yourself the 17:1 ratio or are you shortchanging yourself with toxic self-talk like, "I'm fat. Nobody will like me. I'll try this diet. I'm not good enough. I'm so stupid. I'm broke, etc. etc."

If our parents can set a lifetime of programming with one wrong statement, imagine the kind of programming you are doing on a daily basis with your own internal dialogue.

Here is a list of Toxic Vocabulary words. Notice when you or other people use them.

But: Negates any words that are stated before it.
Try: Presupposes failure.
If: Presupposes that you may not.
Might: It does nothing definite. It leaves options for your listener..Ø Would Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen.
Should Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen (and implies guilt.)
Could Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen but the person tries to take credit as if it did happen.
Can't/Don't: These words force the listener to focus on exactly the opposite of what you want. This is a classic mistake that parents and coaches make without knowing the damage of this linguistic error.

Toxic phrase: "Don't drop the ball!"
Likely result: Drops the ball
Better language: "Catch the ball!"

Toxic phrase: "You shouldn't watch so much television."
Likely result: Watches more television.
Better language: "I read too much television makes people slow.”

You might find yourself turning that TV off and picking up one of those books more often!

Author - unknown

Warm regards,

Rohan Singal

Saturday, 8 January 2011

An introspective & inspiring story - of a king!!

Here is wishing you a fabulous year ahead. Let this year you discover your true magic, your hidden potential.

I found this story really inspiring irrespective of the situation one is in. You may be able to relate to this story at this very moment of your life. Even if you have come across this story, I request you to read it once again fresh this year.

Story of a King

Once a King called upon all of his wise men and asked them "Is there a mantra or suggestion which works in every situation, in every circumstance, in every place and in every time. Something which can help me when none of you is available to advise me. Tell me is there any mantra?" All wise men got puzzled by King’s question. One answer for all questions? Something that works everywhere, in every situation? In every joy, every sorrow, every defeat and every victory? They thought and thought.

After a lengthy discussion, an old man suggested something which appealed to all of them. They went to the king and gave him something written on paper. But the condition was that king was not to see it out of curiosity. Only in extreme danger, when the King finds himself alone and there seems to be no way, only then he’ll have to see it. The King put the papers under his diamond ring.

After a few days, the neighbors attacked the kingdom. It was a collective surprise attack of the King’s enemies. King and his army fought bravely but lost the battle. King had to flee on his horse. The enemies were following him. His horse took him far away in the jungle. He could hear many troops of horses following him and the noise was coming closer and closer. Suddenly the King found himself standing at the end of the road - that road was not going anywhere. Underneath there was a rocky valley a thousand feet deep. If he jumped into it, he would be finished. And he could not return because it was a small road. The sound of enemy’s horses was approaching fast. King became restless. There seemed to be no way...

Then suddenly he saw the diamond in his ring shining in the sun, and he remembered the message hidden in the ring. He opened the diamond and read the message. The message was very small but very great. The message was – “This too will pass."

The King read it. Again read it. Suddenly something struck him- Yes! It too will pass. Only a few days ago, I was enjoying my kingdom. I was the mightiest of all the Kings. Yet today, the Kingdom and all his pleasures have gone. I am here trying to escape from enemies. However when those days of luxuries have gone, this day of danger too will pass. Calm come on his face. He kept standing there. The place where he was standing was full of natural beauty. He had never known that such a beautiful place was also a part of his Kingdom. The revelation of the message had a great effect on him. He relaxed and forgot about those following him.

After a few minutes he realized that the noise of the horses and the enemy coming was receding. They moved into some other part of the mountains and were not on that path. The King was very brave. He reorganized his army and fought again. He defeated the enemy and regained his lost empire. When he returned to his empire after victory, he was received with much fan fare at the door. The whole capital was rejoicing in the victory. Everyone was in a festive mood. Flowers were being thrown on the King from every house, from every corner. People were dancing and singing. For a moment King said to himself, "I am one of the bravest and greatest Kings. It is not easy to defeat me.."

With all the reception and celebration he saw an ego emerging in him. Suddenly the diamond of his ring flashed in the sunlight and reminded him of the message. He opened it and read it again: "This too will pass". He became silent. His face went through a total change – from the egoist he moved to a state of utter humbleness.

If this too is going to pass, it is not yours. The defeat was not yours, the victory is not yours. You are just a watcher. Everything passes by. We are witness of all this. We are the perceiver. Life comes and goes. Happiness comes and goes. Sorrow comes and goes.

Now as you have read this story, just sit silently and evaluate your own life... Think of the moments of joy and victory in your life. Think of the moment of sorrow and defeat. Are they permanent? They all come and pass away. Life just passes away. There were friends in the past. They have gone. There are friends today. They too will go. There will be new friends tomorrow. They too will go. There were enemies in the past. They have gone. There may be enemies in the present. They too will go. There will be new enemies tomorrow and they too will go. There is nothing permanent in this world. Everything changes except the law of change. Think over it from your own perspective.

You have seen all the changes. You have survived all setbacks, all defeats and all sorrows. All have passed away. If there are problems in the present, they too will pass away. Because nothing remains forever. Joy and sorrow are the two faces of the same coin. They both will pass away.

Who are you in reality? Know your real face. Your face is not your true face. It will change with the time. However, there is something in you, which will not change... It will remain unchanged. What is that unchangeable? It is nothing but your true self. You are just a witness of change.

Warm regards,

Rohan Singal