What is keeping you from achieving your dreams?

Pain and Pleasure


    As we live everyday we see pleasure and pain guide us through our life.  What are we holding on to that is stopping us?  A child is taught that if he/she does well, he/she is rewarded (Pleasure).  The same child does something wrong and is punished (Pain).
    With every choice we make our subconscious mind asks one simple question, will this bring me pleasure or pain?   Now that you consciously know your mind does this, let us start paying close attention to what we have associated with pain in our lives.  I noticed early on in my life that somewhere along the line, I had anchored that having a lot of money equaled pain.  The pain anchors came from my family because we were considered poor and prejudged the rich as being people who were snobs, people of greed, and people who only cared for money.  I had to change these beliefs in order to allow myself to be comfortable making more money or in other words, being rich.  I didn’t even know it but every time I would have the chance to make more money or to do something that would lead to more money I would tell myself not to do it.   The way I changed this was by stacking up the positive things that I would be able to do with money like help people, pay my bills, take care of my family, send my children to college, and spend more time with the people that I love.  There had to be more positive things anchored in my mind than the several negative things that were anchored as a child to counteract the pain associated with money.  Next, I made it real in my mind how much pain these negative beliefs would cause me, my family and friends over the next 10 + years in my life if I allowed them to control me.  This is leverage.  You must tip the scales to pull you towards the belief system that you desire.  
    I have created a step by step process to eliminate and change negative beliefs and values that you will be able to take advantage of later in this book.    
Ask yourself, Are your beliefs able to be changed?  
Your answer should be a heroic, Yes!
If your answer is a cowardly No, then that is the belief that you should focus on changing first.
    Take for example the young magician who has a passion for performing and loves people.  When he is around his friends and family he is comfortable.  Although whenever he is asked to be in front of strangers or in front of large groups, he freezes and becomes very nervous.  As this fear and any fear builds and builds in his mind, his mind associates pain to public speaking and/or performing. If he was only able to master and control this fear, we all agree, that he would be a much more successful magician.  
How does he change his associations in his mind?  This young magician was me.  You will find out later in the chapters how I was able to overcome this fear.
    Now is the time to do your work. You have to realize that if you ever want results, you must work for it and if you really want results you must become best friends with your journal or notebook and write in it daily.  It does not have to be anything fancy, most of my best thoughts and ideas came from scribbles on napkins or sketches on the back of a playing card, but you should have some designated “journal” where you put your thoughts down consistently and routinely.  
    Thoughts are in a realm of nothing, the outer atmosphere, and come and go controlling your mind for only a few moments and then disappearing in the dark only to be seen again when we are back in a similar situation again.  
    You might be thinking to yourself that all you need to do is just tell yourself over and over again that you aren’t afraid.  I am going to use the example of public speaking as this is the fear I had to overcome as well as others and this is also a fear that many people have in their guts grunting every time he/she is asked to speak in front of others.  Affirmations are a wonderful tool but,   
    Do you really think that just telling yourself you are not afraid will work after you step foot on the stage and the spotlight is shining in your eyes so bright you can’t see the audiences’ reactions?  
    Do you really think that just telling yourself you are not afraid will work when you step one foot toward that microphone that makes your voice bounce back from the outer corners of the building at you hearing yourself like an echo in your head?  
    Do you think that just telling yourself you are not afraid will work after you step your foot inside your boss’s heavy mahogany door to ask him for a raise?  
    Do you think that just telling yourself you are not afraid will work after you make your first step toward your success goal and the one person you look up to the most tells you you can’t do it?  
    In order to change, you must face reality and the reality is that however many times you say “I am not afraid of public speaking, I feel love when I speak in front of people,” it will not change your pain and pleasure anchors because these are beliefs that have been instilled in your mind by you for too many years.   Until you believe differently you will believe the same.  I know this because I have tried and tried and tried to change my fears with only affirmations and one must take more action in conquering their fears.
    Your work is listed below.  Please take it step by step and enjoy your journey.  This process will amaze you.  I have used the example of public speaking because it is the number one fear in the world, but you may use any belief that you feel is having a negative effect on your life, just replace that belief with the examples below.   

1.  Start by making a list of all the positive things that could come from you being able to overcome your fear.  How will the people around you react if you are great?  How will this help your business, self worth, confidence, income, love life, and more?  What will life be like in one year, five years, ten years, with this new skill of public speaking mastered?  How would it help you speak in small groups and how would it influence your kids having a parent who is not afraid to stand up and actually exercise the greatest freedom we have-- speech?  
    A. You must make this emotional, real and visualize it the best you can. Take a few minutes and stop reading now and pick a fear:  public speaking, heights, lone-liness, etc. The fear is one that you think is harmful and you want to vanish from your thoughts. Do it now...Got it! Good, now complete step one with the fear you just proclaimed, and then go on to step 2.

2.  Write a paragraph about how it feels to be controlled by this fear. How scared are you when it has its hold on you?  Imagine yourself being overwhelmed with this fear to the point where it grows out of control, to the point where now you have a hard time being. Imagine all your missing out on. What will life be like in 1 year, in 5 years, in 10 years down the road if you are still controlled by this fear?
    A.  You must make it emotional so that your mind has anchored that if you do not change and if you do not challenge and defeat your fears, they will take over your life. Fear is conquered by action, and if we challenge our fears we will defeat them. I know this is true. When you are finished with this portion of your journal, go on to step 3.

3.  Write down a plan of action, a sketch, of how you can challenge your fears. This step is key.  You must take action while you are fresh with the process. Go do it!  If you are afraid of heights, climb up on your roof. If you are afraid of making a change, make it, make it, make it. If you are afraid of public speaking, speak to many, not few.  You can do it and with these steps it should make it easier.  Before you do it, read what you wrote in the steps and remember that what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger. Remember one thing as you go out with confidence, some may fail, but I want you to fail, as you will truly be better for your failure is a success of change.      
         You know the number one fear in the world today is that of public speaking.  The second is that of death.  Can you believe that people would rather die than stand up in front of a group of people?  The worst that could happen is hardly bad at all.  The rewards are a hundred times more rewarding.  Challenge your fears and conquer them.  I have taught many leaders to overcome this fear of public speaking, but do not have tunnel vision because these techniques can be used to change any fear in your life right now.  
    You can even use these techniques to change your belief that failure is bad.  The only way you learn something is to try it and when you fail, you learn more than when you succeed.  I want you to fail.  That is a noble statement, as I want you to learn.  The only way to succeed in this life is to not be afraid of failure.  Using these steps you can challenge your fears and eliminate what is stopping you from doing the things that will better your life for the good.  You must show your mind that it will only mean more pain if you do not do it.  Build up the rewards you will receive,  then make an action plan to gain those rewards. 

Universal Rewards

 If you give effort, in return you will be rewarded.  We are but simple people in this grand universe.  Try with all your heart to be a creator of love and compassion.  With your heart open the blessings will follow.  Allow your mind to think not about what you want but instead spend your time prayerfully complimenting others and lifting them up to a higher plan than yourself.   Listen to each person with the intent to learn and soon others will come to listen to the knowledge you have acquired by practicing this technique.  Ask yourself questions like, what can I learn from them?  Maybe they could use a kind word or friendly smile to water the seed that is their dream.  Some seeds are so well planted that the earth will seem unfit to produce.  Yet to everyone’s wonder the harvest comes and everyone eats. Everyone eats, that is the part that most overlook.  If you help another grow, your life will be rewarded tenfold.  If you help your own life blossom, than you will in the same time watch it grow old and bear no fruit again.

    The same is the case with knowledge.  Skills that are gained through many hard years of struggle and searching are roots that are planted deep and are not blown over easily.   The tree with water puddle at its trunk is fed without struggle and therefore has no need to search out the earth and extend its roots deeper to find water and be fed. When the whirlwind comes into a stormy night, the tree that was fed and nourished without struggle is easily blown over with a simple breeze, but the tree that searched out its nourishment and was finally fed at the end of its journey, down deep in the earth, is still standing.   
    Let them stand on their own. Create a path for those you would like to help, but they must take their own journey and find their own water.  That is one of the hardest aspects of life and relationships that I have had to learn. I want to share these secrets with everyone, but some are just not ready to hear it and block out everything said, butOnce you reach the water it will be treasured like gold and you will be the water as Bruce Lee would say, “Be like water my friend, be like water.”    
    There is much more to learn on this subject and I encourage you to dig deep into this subject of personal development. You will find yourself and you will find something great.  

I always try to spend time after a seminar or performance talking with people and asking them about themselves. On one occasion an elderly gentlemen and his wife, both in wheelchairs, rolled up to me to thank me for the program. He began, “You know Rodney we saw you last year with our grandson and he still has your poster in his room.  I remember the show very well because every time you would make something disappear or something would happen my wife would breath deeply, as though she was gasping in wonder.” I thanked him and he continued...  “She did it every few minutes, Ithen realized as she gasped once again, that she wasn’t amazed by your magic at all”, he said.  “I had simply parked my chair on her oxygen hose.” He then burst out in laughter as though he had been waiting so long to tell me this story, he could hardly wait for the end.  We all enjoyed his story and I have shared it many times and it has brought many laughs to me and my audiences. I cherish this strangers’ smile and will never forget the joy he has brought to my life and my performances.  You see, you find bits of knowledge, love, laughter, and joy in places and in people that you would never think to look, therefore be open, try to see things through others’ eyes, and again, be like water.