Key To Success

What do you do when you come across a key to success in a book you're reading? You ponder over it. Since I read many books and come across many keys, I thought it would be fun to share the ideas that arise as I contemplate a key to success. Reading is not just about absorbing information, it's also about contemplating, allowing the ideas to blossom within, and nurturing a seed tossed in the rich soil of the inner garden.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

I got my Master's degree in psychotherapy more than a decade ago. Since then I've studied the human condition with fascination. Over the years, I've learned a singular lesson: your life does not work when you oppose your soul nature. If you want a magical life, you have to drop your inauthentic transactions with the world. You discover your own power when you spend time alone to figure out what you really love to do.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

How To Invite Positive Change In Your Life

Gnothi seauton, said Socrates. “Know thyself.”

These words remain as true today as in the days when the portly philosopher in his rumpled tunic sauntered through the dusty agora of ancient Athens and pondered aloud about the riddles of the human experience.

“What is man?” he asked. “What can he become?”

This is a fascinating question. Once we set out to know ourselves, we also pave the way to become more authentic and powerful in our lives.

While we may appear predisposed, due to genetics or environmental factors, to certain character traits, we are, as far as I can tell, creatures of infinite possibilities and amazing self-invention.

Who we are, then, has less to do with knowledge and more to do with imagination. We appear to be who we choose to be rather than merely the consequences of our experiences.

However, this elasticity of possibility, is seldom exercised, for rather than explore, we prefer to be safe, and rather than risk, we would rather remain restricted in our self-expression. We prefer homeostasis to adventure.

Still, when we hear or read about someone who has changed in a remarkable way, we feel a curious envy and joy, a sense of what may be possible for us were we to shift away from our stable moorings. In fact, the books or movies that move us the most are those where the main characters undergo transformation from a lower to a higher state of being.

We admire change, but don't feel sure about it-- which, of course, is understandable, because change, after all, is based on uncertainty.

Change awaits us all...but will it be positive or negative?

If the change is reflexive, as a response to circumstances, the change may not be positive. On the other hand, if the change is reflective, as a response to a stimulating thought, we feel the thrill of embarking upon a whole new realm of experiences. Our potentialities cry to be awoken and brought into the light of manifestation and actuality.

Since change is inevitable, then, we may as well embrace it by making it deliberate. In fact, we can accelerate positive change in our lives by using two cognitive tools.

The first tool is Critical Shift Thinking. By making small changes, we can precipitate big effects. For example, by changing how we eat, or exercise, or organize our finances, or relate to people, we can invite a massive personal transformation over time.

The second tool is Influential Thinking. While we're all aware of how other people can and do affect us, we seldom pay attention to how we can enrich ourselves through choice books, music, and other educational and inspirational media.

When we spend time to get to know ourselves better, when we ponder on who we are and what we can become, and when we sketch a bolder picture of what is possible for us, we begin the process of inviting positive change in our lives. How much change, of course, depends on our level of purpose, passion, and persistence.

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Saleem Rana got his masters in psychotherapy from California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, Ca., 15 years ago and now resides in Denver, Colorado. His articles on the internet have inspired over ten thousand people from around the world. Discover how to create a remarkable life

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