[nectar_dropcap color=””]S[/nectar_dropcap]till looking for success? Look no further. From this day forward, success will never elude you again. Your parents and teachers had it wrong. Your mentors don’t understand it. And most motivational speakers are way off.
It’s time to finally learn the truth about success.
You are successful
You already are. Right here, right now.
You don’t need to look for success, wish for it, or want anymore. You already have it.
Success is not something that is just outside your reach, and if you do just a little bit more, put a little more effort into it, you’ll have it.
No, no, no.
Listen to me. You’re already successful.
Let me explain:
You (and everyone else you know) have successfully, and consistently, produced outcomes or results in life.
You do this every moment of every day. There’s no stopping you from success (or anyone else). You’re successful by default.
Living like a bum? That was you. Earning $34,000 a year? You did it. Fat and overweight? Good job. Poor relationships? Killing it.
Conversely, living like a king/queen? You did that. $1,000,000 a month in income? No stopping you. Fit, in shape, and vibrantly healthy? Boom. Strong, meaningful relationships? “What can I say?”
Look. Everything in the universe works PERFECTLY. Why? Because all natural things just work. They just do. Including YOU (last I checked, tu es naturel aussi, no?)
“But what about this cool invention I just made. It doesn’t work…”
“I’m still not making any money from my business. It doesn’t work…”
“I’m still a janitor. My career doesn’t work…”
Well, guess what? You’re successful at building machines that don’t work.
You’re successful at making a business that doesn’t make money.
You’re successful at being a janitor.
Wait. There’s more.
What is success anyway?
In the 90’s, I ran across the work of Maxwell Maltz. Maltz was a plastic surgeon in the 50’s and 60’s and he realized something very intriguing.
Despite changing a person’s physical appearance through cosmetic surgery, like a nose job or removing a scar, some people would still ACT like the scar was still there.
They would still ‘feel’ the scar’s presence, despite what other people close to them said or even if they were staring at themselves face to face in a mirror.
This result was so commonplace that Maltz decided to understand this phenomenon so he could effectively address it.
No matter what physical changes a person makes to their exterior or physical appearance, until they changed their INNER world, then the real change they wanted COULD NOT take place in that person’s life, regardless of the ‘hard’ evidence or social proof.
Maltz determined that the critical factor in all of this was the self-image. In his eyes, the self-image was the missing ingredient as to why his patients could not experience the changes on the INSIDE.
If someone could bring their self-image into alignment with the desired outer change, then they could experience the total change.
A short parable in the bible illustrates this point. Jesus was explaining that you CANNOT put new wine in old wineskins because the old wineskins will eventually crack and burst, spilling the wine and losing it completely (any wine buffs out there that can verify this?).
In the example we used earlier, if someone has surgery (new wine) and they keep their old wineskin (self-image), then eventually there will be a crack in the foundation, so to speak. And all the good effort and external changes won’t matter.
The old wineskin (self-image) is just used to a certain type of wine because it’s been holding it for so long. It can only hold that particular wine, and no other.
Think about this
You can change your clothes, cut your hair, do your toes, say affirmations, and even win the lottery, but if your old wineskin remains the same (self-image), then eventually all that new wine would leak through the cracks and disappear.
The old “wineskin” (self-image) wants the wine (thoughts & beliefs) it’s comfortable with. And it will remain that way until you change those old wineskins.
And here’s the kicker: the self-image is your primary goal. It’s your real target. Your entire mind-body system are completely aligned with it, and work diligently towards however you see yourself.
Whether your self-image is “fat” or “healthy” it will work effortlessly to accomplish that particular self-image. It doesn’t matter whether your self-image is earning $34k a year or a million dollars a month, your mind-body works to achieve that.
Take a look at this:
The airplane has a goal to get to Atlanta. The plane takes off, begins to move toward its target, and plans to eventually land in Atlanta.
But the interesting stuff happens in between the take off and the landing.
You see that the plane is “off course” probably 90% of the time. Maybe it’s higher than that. Maybe it’s lower. I don’t know. But I do know that the plane has to constantly correct itself due to air resistance, turbulence, or what have you.
Same with a thermostat. It has a goal to keep the room temperature at 72 degrees. Regardless if it gets hot or cold, the thermostat will either turn on the heat or the air conditioning.
The thermostat keeps its goal. It doesn’t change. Same with the plane.
What if the plane took off and it decided to change it’s goal every 30 minutes?
What if the plane really wanted to go to New York, but never changed its programmed goal of Atlanta?
How often do you change goals in mid-flight?
What does all this mean?
I finally realized why I wasn’t making a whole lot of money. I kept changing my goals to fit how I saw myself. I just didn’t realize it.
Put another way, I saw myself as an employee. I saw myself as earning a certain amount of money every year. Sure, I wanted to earn more, but I really saw myself earning much less than what I wanted.
Everything I did was congruent with my self-image, and so every result was a successful outcome. And I mean every single one.
If I had just made a decision to “change” my self-image to fit my new goals, I would have avoided years of frustration.
In the past, as you moved towards your new goal, what happened when you met turbulence or resistance? How did you deal with it?
If you are like I was, you went back to doing what was comfortable for you. Like this:
It’s great that an airplane’s autopilot navigation system adjusts, adapts, and responds quickly and efficiently to air resistance, turbulence, and bad weather.
It doesn’t think about anything else, because it can’t.
But people can. And therein lies the problem and the solution.
Because you have the ability to imagine and have thoughts, you can continue the past or transform into something totally different.
And if you decide to set a new goal then….
How will you do that?
Because when barriers and frustrations are come up, what will you do if your self-image is at odds with what you want? When you meet with resistance, how will you deal with it?
Remember, how you see yourself is your primary goal. You accomplish your primary goal (self-image) every day.
You’re already successful.
So, the obvious next question is:
How does all this work?
Very simply, your self-image is literally how you see yourself. But a more accurate definition of self-image is a story you tell yourself about yourself. And you tell that story based on a two critical factors:
- Your outer world, or physical environment
- Your inner world, or psychological environment
Whatever happens in your world, from the time of your birth until now, shapes who you are.
the story of how others (your parents, siblings, friends, teachers, etc.) interacted with you over time
the story of your environment and how much it influences you
the story of your place in the world, or your identity (politics, religion, etc.)
These stories spring from the most emotional experiences you ever had, forming much of your self-image between birth and age 7. Your inner narrative continues to be the primary influence in your life, regardless of who you are. Parents (or whoever raised you) stay with you longer than you might realize.
The formation of your self-image is pretty simple, though explaining the process might take a team of neuroscientists, psychologists, and anthropologists to explain it properly.
We don’t have time for the Superfriends to come together, so let’s go with the simplified version. You have a mind and body. Let’s start there. And that mind and body is influenced by its direct environment. Like so:
You cannot exist without an immediate environment, so someone or something is always influencing or conditioning the mind to think, speak, and act in a certain way.
How important is your physical environment?
How do you change your self-image?
You’ve got two ways.