What does it feel like to be successful?
There have been numerous times throughout your life when you’ve been successful. Each success helps fuel the next one.
Just like the act of wallowing in your setbacks will throw you into deeper apathy, basking in the glory of success energizes you.
Create a Media Library Inside Your Head
Though we can’t live in the past, we do tend to replay events over and over in our minds. Usually unconsciously, and at the whim of the moment.
But by creating a specific playlist of events that you can recall at any moment, you have a virtual media library of your own success clips at your disposal.
Start by going somewhere quiet…
- Go sit on a park bench.
- Lounge in your favorite chair.
- Lay on the grass in your back yard.
- Lock yourself in the bathroom.
Anyplace where you can be alone with your thoughts.
Then just relax and let your mind wander. Begin to remember all the successes from your past. Start with childhood, then journey up into adulthood. Recall times when you:
- Triumphed over adversity.
- Accomplished an important goal.
- Reached a milestone.
- Won an award.
- Made a big sale.
- Talked that incredible person into marrying you.
- Pushed a child out of your body, or caught your child when they came out.
Big, small — it doesn’t matter. Just as long as it was important to you.
Once you have 5 or 10 significant events, go back and remember each one as clearly as possible. Try to completely immerse yourself in the moment, with images, sounds, and feelings.
Depending on your own way of learning and remembering things, you may see pictures or a movie. You may hear sounds and voices — like an audiobook or a radio show. You may just feel flashes of experience.
The goal is to make it as rich as possible, in your own way. You’ll know it’s working when you begin to feel the same way you did on the day of the memory. Feel the butterflies in your stomach, or the elation coursing through your body.
Once you are completely absorbed in the memory, tag it in some way. Imagine it as a YouTube video, a selection in your iTunes library, or a gallery of pictures.
If you tend to attach memories to physical events, set a trigger for each memory with a physical action — such as touching your thumb to a different finger for each memory.
The goal is to set a trigger or an anchor in your mind to call your specific successes from your playlist. These playlist items become tools to help you next time you’re faced with a challenge, adversity, or apathy.
The REAL YouTube
We all carry around a YouTube library in our heads. This is a real You-Tube because it’s all about events from your life — hopes, fears, successes, failures.
By taking control of the clips in your library, you create a powerful tool.
Use the memories of past successes to fuel your future ones — and continue to add to the success media library in your head.
Man Tony, these posts have been HOT these past few days!!! You are hitting all the things I try to teach my students every day, and I’m loving it!
The funny thing is, this info has been around for years and years! Even Solomon wrote about it in his proverbs, “For as he thinkest in his heart, so he is.” It makes you wonder why so many people focus on the negative!
Thanks for the encouragement and keep up the good work!!
Thanks for this post. I love the idea of creating your own personal YouTube in your mind.
One other things that I have found useful in my business is a commitment to a focused period of professional development each day related directly to my business. For me I commit to 15 minutes each day listening to a CD, podcast, or reading a book or magazine. Then I partner with a group of like-minded people and we hold each other accountable. While I always read and listen to podcasts, by ensuring that 15 minutes of that each day are directly related to learning about my business, it helps me to be tuned into positive information.
This type of technique has worked wonders for me when I actually take time to do it. That’s my biggest problem…forcing myself to find the time during the day to dedicate to some quite reflection and exercises like this one. I tend to focus on more things like Danny mentioned..trying to jam in a little more new knowledge instead of stopping and reflecting on how I could have better utilized what I have or reinforcing past behavior that was effective.
This is good stuff. What you are “playing” in your mind is *so* powerful.
Sharon Melnick has a great video that takes you through the steps of reprogramming your mental ipod. You can find it at http://sharonmelnick.com/mental_ipod.htm
The ideas you present have been around for ages, but this is the best presentation of them that I have ever read. You make them come alive. Great job! I agree with Jim, your posts have HOT lately!
My only objection to this post, Tony, is that instead of charging me up about my past successes it makes me feel completely inadequate as a writer. Hopefully that feeling will pass.
I just left the following comment over at Monk At Work:
“Have you seen Tony D. Clark’s latest post? http://sftn.wpengine.com/content/eternal-playlist-of-the-successful-mind/#more-214
It’s about taking time to relive past successes to revitalize ourselves. It ties right in with your awareness breaks. As you know, I think the easiest way to keep ourselves working is to love what we’re doing. For me reconnecting with my enthusiasm is the best way to overcome procrastination.
I’m a certified practitioner of NLP (neurolinguistic programming), and Tony’s post is the most down-to-earth and powerful description of some of those techniques I have ever read.”
You have been tagged for The Personal Development List. (See my site for details), I would love it if you would participate.
I just made this comment at Priscilla Palmer’s http://priscillapalmer.com/priscillapalmer/2007/08/21/personal-development-list/#comments:
“How about Success From the Nest? Tony D. Clarkâ€™s latest post there is the best description Iâ€™ve ever read of some of the techniques of NLP (neurolinguistic programming), and Iâ€™m a certified practitioner!”
She’s added you to her Personal Development list. I hope you don’t mind. Your latest posts have been just too good not to share.
Jim – What do you mean years and years? I invented this 🙂 Just kidding. That’s a great point. All the great knowledge has been around for thousands of years. It’s our job to use our creativity to package and present it in a way to reach a broader audience.
Danny – That’s a great approach. When you commit to a specific time, you’ll find that it improves so many areas of your life.
Zen – I agree, finding the time is difficult. But as I’m sure you know, the payoff is well worth it.
Meredith – Great video. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Jean – NLP is a powerful tool, but is often presented as hype. Like I said to Jim above, we should each use our own unique creative skills (which we all have) to present ideas. Like finding a different way of looking at anchoring techniques. Thanks for sharing it with Adam and Priscilla.
Priscilla – Thanks for the tag. I’ve seen some of my favorite personal development blogs on the list.
I agree about the NLP hype. That part turns me off, but I took the formal training because my professional career was developing software. I really liked the programming approach. It’s descriptions like yours, without the garbage, that really resonate with me.
Although your article presents age old ideas, you feed it to us with such class and creativity that it appears brand new and becomes a much needed awakening for anyone who is stuck, who might be wallowing in past failures and would welcome a nudge to get back into the game of life and revitalize self. As for me, it’s my love and enthusiasm for my writing that keeps me working to get another book published.
Thanks so much for not holding back.
This is my first time visiting your blog, but it won’t be my last. I followed Jean Browman – The Cheerful Monk’s comment and link back to this site. This article is great, I’ll be back
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