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Why Not Me? – Chapter Three

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Chapter 3

The Tools to Realize Your Purpose

Key #21
The Law of Attraction

“All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye have received them, and ye shall receive them.” 

Mark 11:24

This key can be an incredibly tough pill to swallow, but it’s completely true all the same. The law of attraction has been written about as far back as written records can be found. This law, like the law of gravity, works whether you understand it or not. Several books and dozens of chapters of other books have been written about this universal law. Oprah Winfrey promoted the movie and book, The Secret, which is dedicated to sharing this amazing concept. I suggest that you go online to find the streaming video of The Secret, or get the DVD. It does a far better job of explaining the law of attraction than I ever could in a short chapter. I use this law to my advantage daily, and it has made a huge contribution to my life. 

Boiled down, the law of attraction states, “If you can imagine what it would feel like to have what you want, then you will attract this thing into your life.” You have to experience the feeling of actually having what you want for it to work, but work it does. 

From a psychological stand point, “feeling as though you already have it” is a trigger for your mind. When you pull this trigger, you put your mind into a resourceful and winning mind-set. If you already feel as though you have what you want, then it’s natural to start acting as though you have it. If you start acting as though you have what you want, then you will tap into your resourcefulness, and the actions which you choose to take will get you what you want.

Key #22
BE-DO-HAVE

As the world renowned achievement coach Richard Robbins once taught me, Be-Do-Have is the direction of the flow of life. Once you understand the Law of Attraction, Be-Do-Have starts to make a lot of sense. Here is how this works:

• You have to first BE the person that you wish to be.

• You then will naturally act and DO as you are. Your actions will reflect the person that you are being because who “you are” determines the actions that you will take. 

• As a result of your actions, you will naturally HAVE the things that you want in your life.

Most people try to go against the flow and swim upstream their whole lives. Have you ever noticed that the people who seem to have it all seem to have it easily? This is because they are going with the flow and allowing success to occur. You don’t have to chase success; you just have to allow it to happen. Who you decide to be will determine what is attracted into your life. 

“Be as you wish to seem.” 

Socrates

Key #23
Think-FeelDO

The way you think determines how you feel, and the way you feel determines how you act. We are emotional creatures, and we make most decisions based on our feelings. If your thoughts are focused on negative things, you will then feel negative, and your actions will be negative. If you are focused on positive things, you will feel positive, and your actions will be positive. This is why attitude is so powerful and why it’s so important to be conscious of your thoughts.

• If you are thinking about what you “don’t want,” then that’s what will be attracted into your life. 

• If you are thinking about “what you do want,” then that’s what will be attracted into your life. 

This is an incredibly well-researched topic, and there is a mountain of literature dedicated to this concept. The sooner you allow yourself to accept this truth, the sooner you will find peace in your life. Be conscious of your thoughts, and your life will instantly change for the better. The law of attraction is a magic pill that works instantly! All you have to do is choose to take advantage of this law, and the results will appear immediately. 

“The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts. Therefore, guard accordingly and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.” 

Marcus Antonius

Negative thoughts blind us from opportunity. Negativity is like having a burlap sack over our heads every time an opportunity walks by. Simply remove the sack from your head, and you will see the opportunities that have always been right in front of you. This is true for everyone. Here is an example of some positive and negative states of being. 

Negative ( – ) Destructive Positive ( + ) Constructive

Pursue Attract
Taking Giving
Superior Equal
Have to Choose to
Persuade Educate
Pessimistic Optimistic
Calculating Candid
Cheap Generous
Suspicious Observant
Conceit Humble
Critical Curious
Resentful Forgiving
Entitled Thankful
Envious Grateful

If you find that your thoughts are often in the negative column, then try to replace those thoughts with their opposites in the positive column. It really is that simple. 

How you think determines how you feel, and how you feel determines how you act. 

Key #24
Vocabulary

One sure way to adjust your attitude is to adjust your vocabulary. You must discipline yourself to eliminate unhealthy words from your vocabulary. Negative words carry negative energy. These words not only harm you, but they harm everyone around you. For the sake of yourself, your family, and your friends, it is imperative that you are cognizant of your influence on others, both positive and negative. How you use your words and the words you choose matter! Whoever came up with the “sticks and stones” thing was well intentioned, but dead wrong.

Here are some examples of unhealthy words, and their alternatives. 

Negative ( – ) Destructive Positive ( + ) Constructive

Can’t Can
Lucky Ability
Difficult Challenging
Scarcity Abundance
Stupid Smart
Failure Negative Results
Failure Delayed Success
Victim Survivor
Excuses Responsibility
Try Will

Just as you have to be conscious of your thoughts, you must be equally conscious of your words. Thoughts and words contain energy, both destructive and constructive. Choosing your thoughts and words carefully is choosing to construct or destruct your life. This is also why it’s best to avoid excessive swearing. 

One of my absolute favorite books is The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz. In this amazing book, Ruiz states that the first agreement is to “be impeccable with your word.” This first agreement alone is enough to transform anyone’s life. If your words are always positive and never meant to harm others, then you will be impeccable with your word. Ruiz emphasizes the power of the word and that it is our responsibility to be aware of the power of our words. If you wish to have positive things in your life, then you must be a positive person. Like attracts like. If you are constantly negative, then you will constantly attract negativity into your life.

“Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Key #25
Act“As If”

To get what you want, you sometimes have to act “as if” you already have it.

To expand further on the Law of Attraction, we must further explore the power of our actions. 

As previously shared: 

Feeling as though you already have it” is a trigger for your mind. When you pull this trigger, your mind puts you into a winning mind-set. If you already feel as though you have what you want, then it’s natural to start acting as though you have it. If you start acting as though you have what you want, then the actions you choose to take will get you what you want. 

The Law of Attraction is also explained by this concept. 

• Feel “as if”

• Think “as if”

• Act “as if”

Acting “as if” can only be done if you have first started feeling “as if” and thinking “as if.” 

Self-doubt happens to all of us from time to time. When you doubt yourself, you have to tell yourself and everyone around you that you are well on your way to achieving your goals. This isn’t being delusional; this is having the correct mind-set to achieve your goals. It’s all about perspective and mind-set. 

In the movie The Boiler Room, Ben Affleck’s character gives a powerful speech to the new recruits. In this speech, he tells them to “act as if.” Although they were not yet accomplished stock brokers, they never would join the high achievers until they were able to “act as if” they were already a part of the club. This isn’t “faking it”; it’s a tool to put you in the correct mind-set. This is the same technique used by coaches of professional sports teams during locker room talks before a big game. The coach will pump up the team by telling them that they “already are champions” (regardless of the fact that they have yet to win a championship). The coach may say something such as:

The trophy is yours; it’s within your grasp. All you have to do is go out there and take it! The other team sure isn’t going to give it to you without a fight, so go and take what is rightfully yours, this is your time!

The coach isn’t tricking his team or manipulating them; he’s putting them into a winning mindset. We humans are emotional creatures. Sometimes we need a little affirmation that we are good enough and able to achieve what we want. If a team goes into a championship game not believing they are “champions,” then they won’t have much hope of actually winning. 

Let us sum up what we have just learned. 

• Perspective and mindset will float you or sink you. 

• A healthy, positive mindset is essential to accomplish any goal.

• With a little wisdom, we can have the strength to ignore those who would see us fail.

• If you refuse to be a VICTIM, you choose to be a CHAMPION!

Key #26
Burn your bridges and commit

Once you have committed yourself to getting what you want, jump in with both feet and go for it. If you only go halfway, if you just dip your toes in the lake to test the water, then you’ll never achieve anything worthwhile. If you want something, you have to commit totally. It’s like sky diving, you can’t just stick your foot out of the plane and test the air. If you want to skydive, then you have to jump.

I remember my first jump and the vision of the plane flying away from me—now, that is what I call a commitment! There is no turning back, no “Plan B,” just me plummeting through the air achieving my goal with no possible way to fail. Once I jumped, failure was not an option. 

The more difficult a goal, the more you have to totally commit. You can’t take half measures; you can’t live within your comfort zone and just dabble at your goal while you keep another full-time job to pay the bills in the meantime. If you are trying to multi-task too much and do a little of everything, then you will end up doing a lot of nothing. We all have to multi-task to a point. However, when you have a challenging goal in front of you, it will demand the majority of your attention and focus to achieve that goal. 

Key #27
Focus

“A person who aims at nothing is sure to hit it.” 

Unknown

Once you have committed yourself to achieving a goal, you cannot allow yourself to get distracted by new, interesting opportunities. If you don’t want to be a flake and a quitter, then you have to finish what you start before you go onto the next round of your life. A good example of this is a former colleague who was one course short of his university bachelor’s degree. He committed almost four years of his life to a goal that he didn’t achieve. Some people will say that a degree is just a piece of paper, but what a degree proves is that you can finish what you start. 

A degree doesn’t tell the world about how smart you are, it tells the world about your character and your strength of commitment. It isn’t easy to stay focused on a single goal for four long years. Any degree has value, regardless of whether or not you end up working in a related field. The feeling of accomplishment derived from any goal that you achieve can never be taken away from you. 

There is power in the ability to focus your energy. As Alexander Graham Bell once said about the subject:

“Concentrate all of your thoughts upon the work at hand. The suns rays do not burn until brought into a sharp focus.”

A singular mind is what has been responsible for all of the world’s great achievements throughout history. Think of focus as having a one-track mind. If there is only one track for the train to go on, then there is only one destination that the train can possibly reach. Each time you are distracted by an unexpected crossroad that comes up, you will be steering away from your original goal. If you make the decision to never take your eyes off the prize, then you will stay on track and reach your destination far more quickly. 

If you are on the right track (your Dharma), then you won’t have much trouble staying focused on the task at hand. The more you travel along a track that doesn’t suit you, the less you will be able to stay focused on the task at hand. 

Key #28
Sacrifice

You can’t always have your cake and eat it, too. To get what you want, you will likely be faced with the decision to let go of something else. 

When you are faced with this choice, simply ask, “What do I want more?” When you have to let go of one thing to achieve another, do it with determination and certainty. Once you let go, don’t dwell on the “what ifs.” “What if I woulda?” is a question that will distract you from your goal. All that matters is what is to come, where you are going, and how to get there. Instead of looking at what you are letting go of as something that you are going to miss, look at it as something that is holding you back. This way you will be happy to let it go, and it won’t feel like a sacrifice at all. If you don’t do this, then you will miss what you’ve lost. If you miss what you’ve lost, then you may well abandon your goal in order to regain what it is that you have given up. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger was a world champion bodybuilder because of the following four key things:

• Determination

• Commitment

• Sacrifice

• Focus

Arnold didn’t worry about all of the things he was missing out on, such as partying with his friends, chocolate ice cream, or his social life. He knew that if he was to be the best, everything else would have to wait until he achieved his goal. Anyone or anything that stood in his way became an enemy that he would simply defeat so that he could continue in the pursuit of his goal. There were no excuses, and failure was not an option. He was completely committed, and he was successful as a result. Critics would say, “Arnold was just lucky that he has such good genetics.” Yes, genetics are a factor, but they are not the most important factor in wining a bodybuilding competition. Arnold uses the same determination, commitment, sacrifice, and focus in all aspects of his life. As a result, he continues to live a life that is filled with enormous accomplishment. 

What advantage does an Austrian with a thick accent have when trying out for movie rolls as a secret government agent? How many people told Arnold that he was “crazy” if he thought he would ever be a star? Despite enormous obstacles, Arnold has been a success at almost everything he has ever pursued.

Key #29
Advice

To get what you want, listen only to those that already have it! 

I cringe when I think of all the conversations I’ve had with people who will start their justification of a decision with the phrase, 

“I was talking with my mom about this, and…”

There is nothing wrong with Mom’s advice on certain topics, but is she really a credible expert for every topic or issue? As mentioned later in this book in key#36, Mom has lots of wisdom to offer. I’m just saying that I wouldn’t ask a poor person for financial advice or a couch potato for “work out” advice. I wouldn’t hire a dentist to build me a house or an electrician to look at my plumbing. 

A good mechanic always gets the right tool for the job. A successful person always gets the right advice for the topic at hand. 

I know of which I speak! Although my parents are well-meaning and love me very much, they have discouraged me from achieving most of my favorite accomplishments. If I had let them influence me negatively, here is a partial list of things that I would not have done:

• Graduated Battle School (Infantry Soldier)

• Six month UN Peacekeeping tour of Croatia (the former Yugoslavia)

• Rope Rescue team member

• Search and Rescue team member

• Rock Climbing Instructor

• Stealth Rope instructor for the RCMP

• Successfully marketed my own invention

• Got married (they thought it was too soon)

• Built and still maintain a successful business (they thought I should have kept my old sales job)

• Taught “Adult Literacy” for three years as a volunteer (thought I should get paid)

• Regularly contribute to several charities (save my money)

• Buy my dream house (thought it was over-priced)

• Speak basic greetings in several different languages (waste of energy)

• Write this book (need more credibility)

Had I listened to any of my parents’ well-meaning advice, I would not have accomplished any of the above things from which I derived great enjoyment. Deciding to not follow every word of their advice wasn’t disrespect but only a choice to disagree. 

Key #30
Courage

It takes courage to follow any of the advice in this book. It takes courage to change habits, to grow, to learn, or to walk a new path. Until you are able to find your own courage, use the courage of others (leverage). Knowledge and wisdom is all you need to find your courage. With self-education, you will feel your confidence grow. As your confidence grows, the possibilities will start to grow, and your life will begin to flourish. 

One of the keys to finding your courage is to realize that it’s okay to be uncomfortable or fearful of the unknown. Every time you move your life forward, you will be in a new place, in uncharted territory. Every time you grow, you will again be somewhere that you’ve never before been. You must accept this discomfort with the unknown and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Once you acquire this new habit of being comfortable about being uncomfortable, you will again accelerate your rate of growth. 

Confidence: revealed by a positive reaction to negative events.

• Problem-solving attitude. 

• Non-defensive to criticism. 

Non-confidence: revealed by negativity

• Defeatist attitude.

• Defensive to criticism. 

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new…There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.” 

Alan Cohen

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave.” 

Mark Twain

“Each of us is a pioneer in our own lives. We’re each charting new territory every day. The people I admire are the people who willingly go forward, no matter what the odds.”

Hillary Clinton 

“Confidence is the hinge on the door to success.”

Mary O’Hare Dumas 

Key #31
Desire

To get what you want, it helps to REALLY want it bad

Desire has a way of finding solutions. If you have a clear desire, then you will tend to see the solutions more than you will see the obstacles. The more intense your desire, the sharper your focus tends to be. 

Desire coupled with the faith in yourself to attain that which you desire is a powerful force indeed. 

“A shot glass of desire is greater than a pitcher of talent.” 

Andy Munthe

“A strong passion for any object will ensure success, for the desire of the end will point out the means.” 

Henry Hazlitt

“Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.” 

Bill Cosby 

“Desire creates the power.” 

Raymond Hollingwell

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s the determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal—a commitment to excellence—that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” 

Mario Andretti

Key #32
Action

All of the good intentions in the world will just sit on the shelf collecting dust without Action. It’s not enough to simply have a goal or dream. You must put one foot in front of the other and get going toward your goals. 

Actions and authentic intentions are co-dependant. Each is virtually meaningless without the other. You can do all the right things for the wrong reasons, and your result will not be what you want. You can do all the wrong things for the right reasons, and again you goal will not be realized. Doing the right things for the right reasons means that your actions are aligned with your authentic intention. When your actions and authentic intentions are in alignment, the results are certain to be positive. 

Seeing your goal creates a dream—a dream of attainment. What is far better than dreaming of achievement is remembering it. The difference between dreams and memories is action! 

By having the keys of courage and faith, there is no excuse to not act. Acting alone does not guarantee success. However, if you fail to act, especially when opportunities reveal themselves, your inaction is guaranteed to be rewarded with regret. 

Deciding to act is deciding to avoid regret. Which you would rather have, poor results or regret? Some opportunities never come around again. You don’t always have the opportunity for a second chance. If you understand how to frame “failure,” then your actions will never result in regret. Regret is only possible if you fail to jump on an opportunity. 

Opportunity will always appear to the person who is ready to jump on it. However, opportunity is content to stay hidden from the person who isn’t ready to seize it. 

“The longest journey begins with a single step.” 

Chinese Proverb

“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” 

Robert Browning

Key #33
Understanding Excuses

Excuses are tools used by people to avoid responsibility for an outcome. Excuses are also a sign of insecurity and immaturity. A mature person realizes that they are responsible for how things turn out. It may not be your fault when your venture takes a wrong turn, but it is your responsibility. This gets us back to a lack of self-esteem. When you are already feeling crappy about yourself, the last thing you want to deal with is admitting that you goofed up. This same discomfort is a part of the fear of failure. You must recognize excuses for what they are and replace them with responsibility. Excuses state that it’s “someone else’s fault.” You can’t fix other peoples faults; you can only fix your own faults. If you want to make progress, you have to admit to yourself and all around you when you screw up, then take responsibility for the outcome. If this is a new thing for you, it will be really uncomfortable the first few times, but with consistency, it will become easier. Being successful without being responsible for your mistakes is highly unlikely. It’s a matter of maturity. 

Father, Professional Development Trainer, Author

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“These are tough times for everyone” – City of Calgary Launches #SupportLocalYYC Campaign

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The City of Calgary recently launched it’s #SupportLocalYYC campaign for the second year in a row. 

Just in time for the holidays, the campaign encourages Calgarians to keep their money in the city when doing their shopping this season, while extending a number of services and resources to local business owners. These include printable Come in, We’re Local posters and an online marketing tool kit to aid local businesses with promotion and visibility during the holiday season. 

Published on November 18, a press release from the City of Calgary states, “Last year, the campaign helped to unite our community to support local – this year, it’s even more important for us to band together.”

According to Sonya Sharp, Business and Local Economy Leader for the City of Calgary, the 2019 campaign was an overwhelmingly positive experience, with more than 10,000 uses of the #SupportLocalYYC tag throughout the holiday season. “When you support local, you are supporting your friends and neighbors,” she says, “this year we want to focus on showing our support for the local business community while ensuring we work together to keep one another safe.”  

Despite a number of government funded support programs and subsidies being made available, the impact of the pandemic has been catastrophic for small business owners in Calgary. The devastating decline in patronage in combination with growing restrictions and additional costs has made the continued operation of a successful business impossible for many.

Photo Credit – Calgary Herald

The city has been gripped by permanent closures as owners struggle to remain viable amidst the changing regulations by launching online alternatives, offering contactless pick-up, and asking for local support. For many, however, the pressures of the pandemic and the economic squeeze have proved to be too much. Calgary’s once hustling 17th Avenue now features a number of staple businesses with locked doors and final goodbyes written where the daily specials or popular sporting events once were. 

“Calgary businesses need our support now more than ever,” says Mayor Naheed Nenshi in the #SupportLocalYYC press release, “the pandemic has hit businesses hard in a time when many were already challenged from a tough economy.” 

Mega-corp online shopping alternatives such as Amazon have already skyrocketed as a result of the pandemic, and are projected to see unprecedented numbers this holiday season. Despite the convenience Amazon provides, the #SupportLocalYYC campaign encourages Calgarians to take the extra time to explore similar contactless, online alternatives many local businesses have struggled to launch in recent months. Keeping cash in Calgary this holiday season is an important step towards slowing business closures and rebooting the local economy.

In addition to purchasing local goods, there are a number of ways to support businesses in the community that cost nothing at all. “Things are a bit different this year, of course,” says Sharp, “these are tough times for everyone. We want people to know that even though you may not be able to spend money, there are other ways to support local.” Leaving a positive review, following their social media accounts, engaging with and sharing their content are all simple, but helpful ways to support and promote local businesses this holiday season.  

Christmas is just 5 weeks away! Make your contributions count this year by supporting your friends, family and neighbors, and keeping it local. #SupportLocalYYC

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

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