Achieving change is a matter of focus

image-37The first step in personal transformation is awareness. You must be aware that there is a belief, thought, internal agreement, or behavior pattern that is unproductive. Read more…

The second step is a willingness to change how you think, thereby changing how you feel and act.

The third step is to tune your awareness away from the unproductive behavioral pattern or thought or story in your life by focusing your attention in productive directions.

At first, you might need stronger methods of refocusing your attention to drive the point home to your brain: “I don’t think this old way anymore. I think this new way now.”

For example, if you want to quit smoking you might notice with your awareness that you are craving a cigarette. In response to this craving, you need to take powerful steps to counteract it. I encourage many of my clients to take a strip of paper and blow into it all the feelings in the body that are causing this craving, then write on the paper the words that are circling around in the brain. Next, burn the paper to release the body feelings and thoughts. Now write a new agreement 13 times in a journal. Why 13 times? It takes about that long to smoke a cigarette, it reinforces the new agreement through writing by hand, and it sends a clear message to the brain: “Change the belief. I am in charge of what you believe, not you.”

Yes…you must distance yourself from association with your brain. Your brain is a servant, it’s a computer: you are the master, the programmer of your brain. Leverage the ancient power of fire to make the old agreement disappear (c’mon, we’ve known fire makes things disappear since caveman days), and keep the journal as a reminder of your new agreement. (And no…typing the agreement on a computer or iPad is not the same as writing it by hand on paper. Nice try though!)

So you might ask how many licks are there to the center of the tootsie roll pop? How many times do you have to do this burning paper routine to change your mind? Well, it’s up to you. The only thing you have to do is persevere until the persistent undesirable urge/thought/pattern actually changes.

┬áThere are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. –Buddha

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