Friday, November 19, 2010

Change Your Responses

The kind of person I am now is because of the decisions and actions I took in the past. The kind of person I want to be in future depends on the decisions and actions I make now.

If I make the right decisions and took the appropriate action now then the outcome will be as I had visualized it. That is the kind of lesson, personal development experts like Jack Canfield, author of The Success Principles. I have followed Jack Canfield’s success principles the very day I bought this book in a bookshop in Christchurch, New Zealand, 5 years ago.

I had shared one of the success principles in this column some time back in the beginning of the year. Since these principles have changed my life I would like to share at least one principle from time to time.

This week I would like to share part of Success Principle Number 1: Take 100% responsibility for your life. A friend of mine said to me one day that I needed to take control of my life instead of trying to please other people. I am successful in many areas of my life, but equally failed in many other areas of my life. I lived through life in a fast lane without taking control of it.

I listened to other people but myself. I battled through the problem of alcohol in my life. I wrote many books but I was unable to complete them for publication. That sounded more like the life of Stephen King, the one writer who had similar problems before he did something about it. I applied for higher status jobs, but found myself performing below the expectation of the prospective employers or those serving in appointment committees.

My mind was all over the place. I would do anything for anybody without worrying about where such decisions led me to.

My life then arrived at the critical junction three years ago. The next move I made would, either devastate me or save and reinvigorate me to find a new leash in life. I returned to Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles and re-read it in order to make critical decisions to change the direction I was heading. Slowly I began to make some of the changes.

First, I gave up on alcohol to the shock of many people who never thought I would do such a thing. Now I am into the third year of a sober life.

Next, I decided to focus on my family and give some quality time and attention. That was a relief for everyone in my household.

I followed through with restoring some spiritual sense in my life again. I began to renew my faith in the church and finding more strength in my personal and family life.

I soon decided to go back to school. I enrolled for the law degree program and juggled that with my job. That decision had done more good than I ever thought. Now the doors that were closed to me before began to open, revealing more opportunities in front of me.

The days when I relied on borrowed money to get me from one day to next are gone. Now I have enough coins to buy food for the house, have my betel nuts, and filling the fuel tank of my car at a respectable level.

There are many areas in my life I have made changes to since following Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles. I sometimes buy the book as a present for friends I know need some changes in their lives.

All these may sound preachy, but at least I am happy to share with the loyal followers of this column, something positive that could change their lives as well.

Here is one of the commands in Jack Canfield’s Success Principle Number 1.

“Everything you experience today is the result of choices you have made in the past…Everything you experience in life—both internally and externally—is the result of how you have responded to a previous event…You only have control over three things in your life—the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take (your behavior). How you use these three things determines everything you experience. If you don’t like what you are producing and experiencing you have to change your response.”

And then Jack Canfield reminds us again what people have been saying all along but we ignored the wisdom: “Change you negative thought to positive one. Change what you day dream about. Change your habits. Change what you read. Change your friends. Change how you talk.”

“If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got,” Jack Canfield continues with his advice, “If you are an alcoholic and you keep on drinking, your life is not going to get any better. Likewise, if you continue your current behaviors, your life is not going to get any better either. The day you change your responses is the day your life will begin to get better.”

Some of Jack Canfield’s commands are: First, you have to give up blaming other people for your problems. All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you—Wayne Dyer;. You will never become successful as long as you continue to blame someone or something else for your lack of success.

Second, you have to give up complaining. The circumstances you complain about are, by their nature, situations you can change—but you have chosen not to. So make the decision to stop complaining, to stop spending time with complainers, and get on with creating a life of your dreams.

Third, you’re complaining to the wrong person. Learn to replace complaining with making requests and taking action that will achieve your desired outcome.

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