By now you will know that I am a ’new-age’ type of a character. I have a lot of interest in spirituality, motivation, and other topics related to my personal and spiritual development. A few days ago, while reading an interview with Dan Millman, I found a very powerful quote about how to reach our goals (link ). This quote made me reflect on some of the views commonly held in the Self-Help-Actrualisation-Movement about achieving; and I realised that sometimes less is more. Read on if you want to challenge some of what many people accept as ’Wisdom’ on the topic of success and reaching your goals.
Two paths for reaching your goals
Let’s start with what Dan said in the interview:
To progress toward your goals, please choose one of the following methods: (1) You can find a way to quiet your mind, create empowering beliefs and positive self-talk, find your focus and affirm your power to free your emotions and visualize positive outcomes so that you can develop the confidence to generate the courage to find the determination to make the commitment to feel sufficiently motivated to do whatever it is you need to do. (2) Or you can just do it.
In every goal you set yourself to achieve, there will be these 2 ways to achieve it. One is simple, one is complex. Which one do you usually choose?
What ’The Secret’ never told you: The Power of Action
Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you probably have heard about ’The Secret’, and either read the book; watched the movie; or at the very least heard of the very basic principles it proposes. When I saw the movie, I was inspired. Here is someone who understands the power of positive thinking, and has managed to create a movie with Hollywood-style production quality. I was excited to think of how many people would be touched by this movie, and what a difference it would make in other people’s lives. But my perspective was somehow transformed after reading the quote above from Dan Millman. I realised that there is a very powerful element that the movie missed altogether: The Power of Action. All the positive thinking in the world is unlikely to help you achieve your goals unless you use it as a motivation for taking action. Visualisations; Motivation; and Positive thinking will likely put you in the right state of mind to notice opportunities that before you would not have been aware of. But they will not ’magically transform’ the world around you while you sit in your couch digesting the last bag of mindless reality television.
Often times, simple is better
Yes, sometimes the simple path is the better path. And visualising, creating empowerig beliefs, developing more self-confidence, and becoming committed can become unnecessary steps on your way to success. What if you already have established a mindset of positive thinking? What if you already have empowering beliefs? Going down that path is creating a lot of unnecessary redundancy. Let’s take 2 simple examples: Loosing weight, and Doubling your income. In the first case, you may know what needs to get done, why and how. But you’ve just been too lazy to actually do it. Maybe some visualisation will motivate you enough to get on top of it and start a healthier eating & exercise regime. But truth is you probably simply need to get on with it and ’Just do it’. Doubling your income, on the other hand, may require taking the first path. Becoming more in tune with opportunities to double your income, and then having the courage to follow them; the determination to stick with what appears like a high-stakes bet; and to stay the track for long enough to give it a chance of working, may take some serious psychological weight lifting before the main event. In cases like this, the first path outlined by Dan may be more conducive to a great outcome.
Make a choice at the start
If simple is often ties better, then we owe it to ourselves to think for a minute or two which path is required for the goal in consideration. The five minutes you need to spend making a conscious choice may save you hundreds of hours on your path to success. And remember Dan’s words to reach success, you can “find a way to quiet your mind, create empowering beliefs and positive self-talk, find your focus and affirm your power to free your emotions and visualize positive outcomes so that you can develop the confidence to generate the courage to find the determination to make the commitment to feel sufficiently motivated to do whatever it is you need to do; or you can just do it”. It really is your choice.
Note to loyal readers: This post is a re-write of a previous post that only had the original quote from Dan’s interview. I hope you enjoy the additional value-add of my reflections.