Thursday, July 3, 2008

Goal setting Webinar by Carol Gates

Just finished hearing Carol Gates –President of Bob Proctor Coaching Program. It is a wonder that I actually logged on time and managed to dial in without any hiccups.

You see, I am a self proclaimed Luddite. Technology has a way of scaring me off, so although I have heard of things like Pod Casts, webinars, uploading and downloading … I still have not been able to crack it. Although some of my friends may disagree, because amongst them I am probably the most technology savvy as I stare at the computer all day……

So let’s get to the real crux of the matter. Today’s webinar was on Goal setting.
Why do we set Goals?

We set goals to achieve results…… no brainer!, but how often do we achieve those results?

Maybe about 50% of the time?


Because we don’t have a proper action plan and our goals are based on our past thinking and past beliefs, so maybe although we want to achieve a goal, there is a constant nagger telling us it might be impossible.
This is where people like Bob Proctor, Jack Canfield, John Assaraf, Lisa Nichols … and all those from “The Secret” and many others come to our rescue. These people apparently set goals and achieved them and are now are setting goals to help other people achieve their goals.

According to Carol on the Webinar, there are three basic premises to our being.
1. We are spiritual
2. We have an intellect
3. We live in a physical body.

We are constantly in a state of vibration with the Universe. The vibrations that we are in choose our emotions. Those emotions form our beliefs and propel us either towards action or inaction.

Our mind is larger than our physical body and it generates approximately 60,000 thoughts a day. We have the ability to choose our thoughts. We either accept or reject those thoughts based on our experiences and thinking. From those thoughts we generate feelings. Those feelings then convert into actions and those actions bring about results.


Often when we set goals we limit ourselves based on what we have experienced in the past, so even though we want something, we immediately second guess and say to ourselves “but that is impossible” This is just a dream.
This is exactly what Carol wants us to do. She wants us to set impossibly high goals. Goals that we think are beyond our capacity. Goals that we think are just pipe dreams.

At this stage all we need to do is set an impossible dream and not care about how we aim to achieve that goal. Why waste energy in the how, when all we need is the what. There is no limit on what you can dream and no limit on what you can achieve. We are only limited in our ability to believe. So for once give in to your fantasy, go into fantasia and dream.

At this stage get yourselves a pen and paper or go to your computer and make a list of 30 things that you would like to achieve. The list could be as seemingly impossible as you would like it to be. For once don’t limit yourself by being realistic.

Your dream could be wealth related, relationship related, achievement related, fame related, health related and so on. Out of all these choose one primary goal. The bigger the better, but let the goals be materialistic instead of being grandiose like attaining world peace and eradicating hunger!! At this stage be selfish. Think of what you really would like to achieve… maybe millions of dollars, maybe a beautiful condo, a new car, loose a few pounds, get your dream mate etc.
Now start with one that you really want and start to live that fantasy, start to visualize it. See it in color. See it in your mind’s eye. Believe it to be fulfilled. Have faith in its achievement. Do not focus on the how; just continue your focus on the what. Know where you are going and know that you will get there.
According to Earl Nightingale, “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal”.

This is where you need to evaluate success, what does success really mean to you, what does success really feel like.
Every day we are trading our lives for something, so we may as well trade it for something worthwhile. Make yourself a worthy goal.
The steps to goal achievement:-

1. Start your goal by saying that “ I am so happy and grateful now that……………………………….

2. Write your goal in the present tense. Our subconscious mind that is actually more powerful than our conscious and it only understands the present . State your goal in the now… I am so happy and grateful about being 120 pounds, or I am so grateful and happy about living in this beautiful condo…. You get the idea!

3. Set the target date. At a later stage if you think you are unable to comply with your target date, just shift the target date, but never ever give up on your goal/dream

The webinar ended on a beautiful saying by Henry David Thoreau, “ If a person will advance confidently in the direction of their dream and endeavor to live the life they have imagined they will meet with success unexpected in common hours.”
She went on to motivate us to take result oriented steps and encouraged us to ask questions…for the quality of our questions will determine the quality of the answers we will get.

More to come!!!!

I surely got a lot out of it and hopefully my goal of writing that best seller on happiness will be a reality .

Thanks Carol and thanks Bob.


Monday, June 30, 2008

The Dragon Scroll

I went to see Kung Fu Panda this afternoon with a bunch of children. A movie about a big fat Panda whose one dream is to be a Kung Fu master. As we were walking out, I asked the children what they saw and what they learnt. A very animated discussion followed and they said , it was a movie about Kung fu, It was about the animals, It was about the dragon scroll, it was about the triumph of good over evil, it was about a fat Panda called Po and so on.
But the one line that made a impact on me was “Things become special, because people believe them to be special”. It all comes down to the power of belief. If we believe we can, we will and if we believe we can’t we won’t.

The following is a summary of the movie as stated in Wikipedia.

Po is a panda who works in a noodle restaurant owned by his adoptive goose father Mr. Ping. He is a kung fu fanatic with secret dreams of becoming a great master in the discipline; however his weight and clumsiness seem to make his goal unattainable; Mr. Ping hopes instead that Po will one day take over the restaurant.
The tortoise Master Oogway has a premonition that the evil snow leopard warrior Tai Lung, the former student of his own protégé, the red panda Master Shifu will escape from prison and return to threaten the Valley of Peace. While Shifu sends Zeng, a messenger goose, to Chorh-Gom Prison to have the security increased, Oogway orders a formal ceremony to choose the mighty Dragon Warrior who can defeat Tai Lung. Everyone assumes that one of the Furious Five — Tigress, Monkey, Mantis, Viper, and Crane— a quintet of supremely skilled martial artists trained by Shifu, will be chosen for this honor.
While the Five demonstrate their skills at the ceremony, Po finds himself locked outside the walled palace square. As a last-ditch attempt to get in, he makes a chair out of fireworks, which sends him flying into the center of the arena. Inspired by this sudden appearance, the old master tortoise designates Po the Dragon Warrior to everyone's shock. Despite Po's protests and Shifu's pleas to reconsider, Oogway stands by his decision.
Revolted at having Po under his tutelage, Shifu attempts to make him quit by berating and humiliating him. The Five similarly dismiss Po as a worthless interloper. Although he becomes aware of Shifu's true intentions and is deeply hurt by his heroes' disdain for him, Po endures their abuse willingly for the dream to become something more than the failure he thinks he is. Master Oogway, still certain that Po is the right choice, gives him sage advice to believe in himself. Eventually, Po endears himself to the Five (except for the disdainful Tigress) with his tenacity, good cooking, and sense of humor.
Meanwhile, Zeng's errand backfires when a tour of the prison given to him by the overly confident head of security, Commander Vachir inadvertently enables Tai Lung to escape. Tai Lung orders Zeng to send word of his arrival to Shifu. In the Valley of Peace, Oogway passes away, his final wish that Shifu train Po. However, upon learning of Tai Lung's return, and realizing that he has to face the evil warrior, Po attempts to flee. Shifu stops the panda and promises to train him if he is truly destined to be the Dragon Warrior. When Po confesses his deep self-loathing due to his obesity and his belief that he may never be a match for Tai Lung, Shifu is at a loss for a solution. Overhearing the argument between Po and Shifu, the Five take it upon themselves to intercept Tai Lung. After a long night of pondering, Shifu discovers the following morning that Po is capable of impressive physical feats when motivated by food. Realizing that he has found the right focus for the panda, Shifu leads Po to the countryside for an intensive training regime in which Po is offered food as a reward for learning his lessons properly. As Shifu hopes, Po excels with such motivation and swiftly becomes a skilled combatant.
The Five battle Tai Lung but are eventually paralyzed with a specialized nerve-striking technique. When they return defeated, Shifu decides Po is ready to face the villain and gives him the sacred Dragon Scroll, which promises great power to the possessor. When Po opens it, he finds nothing but a blank reflective surface. Stricken with despair at the scroll's apparent worthlessness, Shifu orders his students to lead the villagers to safety while he stays to delay Tai Lung from pursuing them for as long as he can.
As Po participates in the evacuation, he meets his father, who tries to cheer him up by telling him the secret ingredient of the family's noodle soup: nothing. Things become special, he explains, because people believe them to be special. Realizing that this truth is the very point of the Dragon Scroll, Po rushes off to help Shifu. At this time, Tai Lung attacks Shifu and berates him for not granting him the title of Dragon Warrior just because Master Oogway did not choose him. To remedy that, the leopard wants the Dragon Scroll for himself to complete his training. While fighting, he expresses that he gave in to his aggression and anger so he could make Shifu proud of him. For his part, Shifu is crippled by his profound feelings of guilt and responsibility for his former protégé, whom he loved and raised like a son, turning to darkness.
Tai Lung angrily discovers that the Dragon Scroll is gone, and he attempts to kill Shifu in his anger. But before he can, Po arrives and challenges him. Although Tai Lung scoffs at Po's abilities, the ensuing fight proves Po to be a formidable opponent. Despite Po's skill, Tai Lung temporarily stuns him and gains the Dragon Scroll, but is unable to understand its symbolism. Po tries to explain the wisdom of the scroll to Tai Lung, but the frustrated Tai Lung tries to subdue Po with his nerve strikes. The attack proves useless on the panda, as his nerves are difficult to find due to his body fat. Emboldened, Po counter-attacks with an improvised combat style that takes advantage of his girth to absorb and deflect the force from Tai Lung's attacks back at him. In the end, Po uses the Wuxi Finger Hold on Tai Lung (which he claims to have "figured out" on his own), and destroys him with a devastating explosion that ripples through the valley.
The Five return to the valley to investigate the cause of the explosion and find a slightly dazed but triumphant Po. Deeply impressed at Po's victory, Tigress leads the Five to acknowledge the panda as a Kung Fu master. The villagers, including Po's father, follow suit and hail Po as a hero. At first, he is overjoyed, but then Po remembers that his teacher is badly wounded, and rushes back to Shifu, who claims that he is now finally at peace. At first, Shifu appears to be dying, and Po panicks. But it turns out that he is only resting after such a trying battle .

How could a lazy , clumsy Panda win against the mighty powers of a skillful leopard? The only weapon he had in his arsenal was the power of belief. It reminded me of the Peter Pan movie I had seen a few years ago and, when Capt Hook and his cronies start singing in glee that they do not believe in fairies the fairies start disappearing and when Peter Pan overpowers them and insists on having them say that they believe in fairies, the fairies start reviving.
Of course these are fictional characters and fictional stories, but there is nothing fictional about the power of belief.
It is now being proven beyond doubt that our beliefs and our perception of our environments create out reality. I just finished watching a talk by Dr Bruce Lipton who talks about how our biology is affected by the thought programming of our beliefs. ( So if we believe ourselves to be failures, we will create circumstances in our life that will validate our beliefs. On the other hand if we believe ourselves to be successful our biology and the perception of our environment will change to fulfill our belief of success.
This is no doubt true, but explaining that to 5, 6 , 7 and 8 year olds was not exactly cake walk. When I asked the children what they believed in and if their beliefs were strong enough to come true, their answers were “of course yes”. So when the 5 year old mentioned that her belief was that she could fly from the top of the building, I really had to burst her bubble and say, “you know darling your beliefs have to be realistic, like becoming the best in your class, the best golfer, the best skier etc”. There I was in my limited belief structure already influencing the 5 year old with limiting thinking. I guess, our belief structure is so deep rooted that it will take a few thousand, maybe million years of evolution for our genetic structure to conform to the belief of flights of physical fancy. But having said that, I still believe in the power of belief and love the HSBC line “ What can be imagined can be achieved”. So for once let your flights of fancy take off and aim for the stars, so what if you fail you just might catch a cloud!!!


Gherlin makes us eat more!!!

According to an article in the Science Daily May 7, 2008

“A gut hormone causes people to eat more by making food appear more desirable, suggests a new report in the May issue of Cell Metabolism, a publication of Cell Press.

In a brain imaging study of individuals, the researchers found that reward centers respond more strongly to pictures of food in subjects who had received an infusion of the hormone known as ghrelin. The findings suggest that the two drives for feeding--metabolic signals and pleasure signals--are actually intertwined. It has also been well established that ghrelin activates feeding through its effects on the hypothalamus, where ghrelin receptors are densely concentrated. However, ghrelin also has specific effects on many brain regions implicated in reward and motivation.

"Ghrelin has widespread effects," Dagher said. "It's not one or two brain regions, but the whole network. [After ghrelin infusion], food pictures become even more salient--people actually see them better. It influences not only visual processing, but also memory. People remembered the food pictures better when ghrelin was high."

The reward centers linked to ghrelin in the new study are also those involved in drug addiction. "That shows it's reasonable to think of high-calorie food as having addictive potential.”

Wow, we really should be closing down the Mc Donalds and the KFC’s of the world!!!!!
We are always told that “ you are what you eat”, therefore it is imperitive that we put only the good stuff inside our bodies. But how often are we successful at following the right advise ?We always blame our lack of will power and berate ourselves for indulging in yet another gastronomic pleasure.Every time I took another bite of that tiramisu, or that lovely dark chocolate, I would get that momentary high followed by a long guilt ridden low . Now research has proven that it is not my fault that I am unable to stick to my resolve. Its that miscreant Gherlin rearing its ugly tentacles and forcing me to take yet another bite . I have an alibi, “its not me its Gherlin!!!!!!!”.
Or is it really???
Of course , if research says , there is a hormone that makes us eat more by giving us pleasure, so be it. I like the theory. I really like it. As I was discussing this article with a couple of friends, all too suddenly one exclaimed “ I knew it!! I have tried so many times to loose weight, but I just can’t stop eating, now I know why? Another took her que and said that it was the same with her, she has been trying to give up smoking but she can’t, it’s the bl…y gherlin.” I too thought of my indescretions with food and alcohol and eased back in my chair thinking that finally I too could relegate responsibility of my actions to my hormones.
I came back home and as I was giving my daughter her daily dose of inspiration!!!!!! ( our favorite line is if you say you can you can and if you say you can’t you can’t) it dawned on me that I was trying to preach what I was not following. How easily I was blaming my new friend “GHERLIN” for my addictions.
The Gherlin was more like a Gremlin and we all know what Gremlins do,( they wreak havoc by sabotaging airplanes). So the gherlin was the gremlin responsible for sabotaging my resolve and self restraint….
But did I have to be a slave to my addictions? Addictions only happen if we allow them to become addictions. Gherlin’s job is to make us feel hungry,it will do what ever it needs to make us eat. It is marketing its need. Marketing is all about making the product look more attractive and thereby more appealing. It is our descretion to allow the marketing strategy to work or not.
There is word in sanskrit called ‘samskaras’. Samskaras are grooves and impressions of the mind. These samskaras are formed when certain thought waves become habitual. If we were to ignore these thought waves or ‘vrittis’, no patterns or impressions would be formed, but if we were to give in to our momentary pleasure, it would become a force in our life and a samskara would be formed. Once a samskara has been formed, it takes a huge effort to erase that particular impression.
Every time we give in to our desire a new brain pattern is formed and our desire becomes our necessity.
The cycle goes like this. Meal times- gherlin production increases, we get hungry we eat, but 90% of the time we over eat. Now our stomach and our brain has gotten used to eating more than we need and the groove/impression of the required amount of food has been formed. This generally happens during childhood. Often parents in their well meaning way force the children to eat more than they need . So now our gherlin production has increased and leptin ( the hormone that tells us we are full) has been slowed. It now takes a huge effort to retrain our brain and our stomach to go back to its original food requirement. Our ‘samskara’ for overeating has been formed.
Gherlin also activates the reward centre of the brain and indirectly adds to our pleasure, so if you read between the lines, it is not really the food that the brain is craving for, it is craving pleasure.
Now we understand why when we are emotionaly down we crave food. It’s the pleasure derived out of eating a high calorie food that we crave, so if it is pleasure that the body is craving, we need to look at what gives us pleasure.

Could alternative pleasure be an antidote to obesity? Could sex substitute food? What are the other activities that give pleasure? Going for movies, ( no popcorn and no sodas), spending an evening with friends, Indulging in your favorite pass time (other than eating), exercising, reading, etc. whatever brings pleasure to you will help you achieve your weight loss goal.
Find a passion . Get into the flow ( as mentioned by Mihaly Chikszentmihalyi). When one is in a state of flow, nothing else matters… so gherlin or no gherlin…you are always in control