Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Manual For Changing Your Life

I believe a high self-esteem can be the key to helping us get out of our dilemma. Here I offer you friends of AA and Al-Anon, something that helped me.

Some time ago, I went on a sort of what I call a "mission" to turn my life around. I got out of my home as a boy of 18 - went to college as far away as I could. In college I struggled, because I had to work every single day, and night and try to study. I had several problems due to living in an alcoholic environment, where my dad did not explain to me the way the world worked. My mom did explain a lot - and a lot the words and sentences she repeated are still in my head today. [Ladies/moms and dads too, this last sentence is important. And is very related to this post].

But back to my problems in college:
1. I did not know how to study. [Therefore I struggled.]
2. I was insecure. [My self-esteem was low. I did not feel valuable about myself.]
3. I did not know how my thinking worked. [I did not realize how important my belief system was and how my thinking affected my actions, and how my thinking could be changed, and how some beliefs that I had, were self-limiting beliefs.]

But, I worked very hard, and made it through college and landed a job, a good job by the way, in a very down economy.

A short version of a long story, I did not know how to behave at times. I had girl friends that I seemed to cling to. At work, I thought if I could just make $20,000 a year, I would be rich. And, I had no plan for me; no goals, no vision of the future, etc. Fortunately, I had a two good managers who helped me at work. As I did better in work, my self-esteem grew and I was less insecure. However, something was missing.

One day after a round of layoffs in another bad economy I sought answers about life. I remembered my father and mother always were reading. So, obviously I avoided reading. If dad read, it must be bad, might have been the deep rooted thought.

So I sought answers, so I went to the library. I came across a video that changed my life around. It was one-hour long (in fact I bought the video and still watch it today!).

Two key messages out of 100 messages were;
1. "You become what you think about" - and then the author says - "Change your thinking and you then change your life."
2. "Study and read an hour a day - in your field - and in 3 years you will become an expert." and then the author says - "You should read first thing in the morning - for one hour."

I started on #2 above. And #2 changed #1. My thinking changed drastically. I actually began to understand myself and understand other people. I discarded old habitual thinking patterns - that were self-defeating and self-limiting and this helped me become "better" in many ways. I also stopped looking to other people for what they thought - and started realizing that if I was going to get better, it was up to me and me only.

One book that changed my life by thinking better and differently, was called "The Advanced Formula for Total Success." It is now out in a later release. The title is changed to "Beyond Positive Thinking." The author is Dr. Robert Anthony.

I will tell you that I bought several copies and still read it today. In fact, I got up at 4:35AM this morning and reread a few chapters. What the book does is explain to you how and where you got your present thinking from in Chapter 1. Second, it provides a "formula" for changing your thinking, which then explains how to build your self-esteem.

It is really an owners manual on how to think - not what to believe. It is not a manual for how to live either. It is not about who is right and who is wrong. It is all about how to constructively start taking charge of your life by eliminating self-limiting thoughts and open your mind up to new ideas and information - that MAY be of value to you and may be the key to GETTING OUT of the environment you are in and GETTING INTO an environment that you would like to be in. You could say it's about "getting unstuck."

The book is not a "Get rich quick book" nor is it a book on how to "manipulate" others. It's a book on "Self."

Here are a few passages that I read this morning that I believe can help all of us. These excerpts are a little random, out of the first two chapters. They resonated with me and I hope they resonate with you;

Understand the Rules of Life
Understand that if your life does not work the way you want it to, it is
because you have accepted false beliefs that keep you from being all
that you can be. Unfortunately, the majority of people on this planet feel
stuck. When we look at the world and see the suffering, misery and
impoverishment, when we see so many well-intentioned people doing
without, the world looks insane. We see people giving up, believing that
they have to take from others in order to have anything for themselves.
Rarely do we look within for the answer to this confusion. Rarely does
the individual really look to see what the rules of life are. So what
happens is that in our ignorance of ourselves and of life, we hassle, fight
and strain to get what we want. And it ends up not working anyway.

Starting Point of Success
Your unlimited power lies in your ability to control your thoughts. A
confused mind works in the direction of sickness, poverty, lack and
limitation rather than in the direction of abundance, health and success.
If we are not creating our lives the way we want them to be, we are
creating from our unconscious. But since life is consciousness, the most
important task we have is the development of the highest possible
consciousness. We can do this by looking at the conditions of our lives
and challenging our beliefs, even if out egos are threatened. Whenever
we want something in our lives, we must let go of anything that is
between ourselves and what we want.
In your heart, you know exactly what you want. And if you will listen to
your intuition, it will tell you. Your mind will sell you out, but your intuition
never will. You intuition is your connection with the Ultimate Power.

Our Mental Blueprint
From birth onward, we collect hundreds of ideas about ourselves as
being good or bad, wise or stupid, confident or fearful and so on.
Through repetition, these often false identities harden into our selfimage.
This self-image either allows us to be happy and successful or it
tyrannizes our lives. Whether we realize it or not, within ourselves is a
mental blueprint. It's a picture of the way that we think that we are. This
blueprint is exact and complete down to the last detail. This summary or
blueprint is our self-image. However, this blueprint is not who we are,
but rather who we think we are.

If you are interested in the book, click on the link on the right hand side of this Blog - under Books I Recommend. It should take you to Amazon.com. I really do recommend this book for all of us.


Anonymous said...

Hi Joe,

Came across this in my reading this morning, thought I might share.

Imagine that I am handing you a new, crisp, one hundred dollar bill.

Would you want it?

Probably so! Suppose I crumpled it up so it wasn't quite as good looking as it was the day in came from the mint.

Would you still want it?

Sure! But wait, what if I took it out in the parking lot, threw it on the ground, and stomped on it until the picture on the bill was barely perceptible? It's now dirty, stained, and soiled.

Would you still want it?

Of course. Why? Because it is still valuable despite the rough treatment it has experienced. A hundred dollars is a hundred dollars. It doesn't lose it's value simply because it has aged, is not as pretty as it once was, or has taken some bumps and bruises in life.

It is the way God sees each one of us!

His word says that he accepts us even if everybody else in this world rejects us!

How powerful!

My focus today is to try to view people in the same focus!

Peace this Tuesday Morning.


Joe said...

Thanks KevinB

And Marie, it was a nice compliment.

Isn't it nice to receive a pat on the back every once in awhile?

As people who have been affected by alcoholism, why is it that we are missing the affirmation or pat on the back?

Does anyone else feel this way?

Syd said...

Joe, I think that self-esteem is a good thing but humility and willingness are critical for working the steps of the program. I'll have to check out the book. Thanks for writing about it.

Joe said...

Agree. I feel humility is critical to successful living. Arrogance and a false sense of pride is what I rail against. It is one of my character defects - I do not like people who are arrogant. My other defect - and I know I have too many others to list here and they would bore all - is deceitfulness. Does anyone think I have been afected by alcohlism?

I promise the book will help us and while it does not mention Al-Anon, many of the Al-Anon principles are similar to what is in the book.