Archive | July, 2013

The Life You Are Living!

30 Jul

Luckman’s Law: The life you are living is the life that you have created. If you don’t like it – change it. Nothing will change it for you.

How many times have I heard someone say, “I wish I could change my life?” How many times in my lifetime have I said it?

At one time or another we have all uttered these words. We might have said them when something went wrong, or when we were feeling sad and dejected. For those of us who fight depression, these words often become our daily mantra.

We beseech the heavens with our hopes and wishes for a better life. But, hope is a pessimist looking at things optimistically. Hope is wishing, and neither will change your life.

But, what will change your life – is you. Yes, you. You hold the power to create the life you are longing to live. You have always had this power. You just didn’t know how to use it.

We are literally given everything we ask for. Unfortunately, for most, we don’t realize we are asking for all the things we don’t want in our lives, as well as all the things we do want. We do it through our negative thoughts and the words we utter.

With over 90% of the thoughts we dwell on considered negative it’s no wonder we attract so many of the things we don’t want. And, here is how we do it; The woman running a half marathon says to others, “I hope I’m able to finish the race.” When she should be thinking and saying, “I know that I’ll not only finish this race, but I’ll be amongst the top 10 finishers.”

The student thinking and sharing their thoughts with others about an upcoming political science final exam says, “I hope I’ll pass the final.” They should be thinking, “I have spent this past semester learning about political science. I am knowledgeable about the subject and am confident I will do extremely well on the final.”

The salesperson sitting at their desk with a telephone and a list of suspects thinks, “I hate making these calls. I doubt I’ll even set one meeting.” Their conversation with themselves should be, “I know the more calls I make the more meetings I’ll book. I expect to set three meetings today!”

Many great thinkers throughout history have spoken these words, Change your thoughts and you will change your life!!!

But, no one has the power to do it for you. Only you hold that power.

With love,

Michael

Fear Within the Sexes

24 Jul

At their core, women fear that men will kill them. At their core, men fear that women will laugh at them. ~Gavin de Becker

This will be the first time that I’ve written a blog on quotes where I’m only knowledgeable on half of the quote. Having never been a woman, nor have any desire to be, I can’t speak on the first part of the quote “women fear that men will kill them.” But I certainly can speak to the male part, AND IT IS THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH.

From a very early age boys strive to impress girls. It’s our nature. We may even deny any interest in girls but our egos are tightly intertwined with what they think of us. We don’t possess a magnificent plume of feathers to make an impression with, but we are quite capable of doing and saying some very stupid things. What we fear is female rejection.

As we get older this fear intensifies. It begins about junior high when we begin to see the opposite sex in a whole new light, and it never ends. Not in high school, college or anytime in our lives. We carry this fear with us always.

Let me ask the women reading this article; Have you ever seen a man that you’d like to meet spend a great deal of time looking at you, but never approaches you to introduce himself? You’re probably wondering what’s wrong with him. And you may even start to think, what’s wrong with me? There is nothing wrong with you. It’s all about him. And here is the kicker, the more attractive the woman the more fear the man experiences.

Until I read this quote by Mr. de Becker I always believed that our fear was in just being rejected, but it is more than that. What we really fear is being laughed at, which to us, is the ultimate rejection. Our egos cannot tolerate being the object of a women’s laughter.

When laughed at some men will slink away to lick their wounds, but others will respond in a more negative fashion. I think it depends on how much their ego is tied in with their feelings of self-worth. It is these men that add credence to the first part of this quote.

What’s the answer? You tell me.

With love,

Michael

3 Ways to Change a Negative Thought!

22 Jul

Probably the number one question I am asked is, “What is the best way to change a negative thought into a positive thought?”

By asking this question, it is obvious that the person asking knows that negative thoughts manifest themselves in fear, and that a fearful thought held in mind expresses itself in those horrible fearful feelings we feel throughout our body.

Here are three methods I use for letting go of a fearful negative thought:

1)    I learned this from Florence Scovel Shinn in her wonderful book, The Game of Life and How to Play it!

“Infinite Spirit, I cast the burden of this (say whatever the thought; fear, anger, etc.) on you, and I go free.” Repeat as many time as necessary until the fear is gone.

2)    This one I created:

“I was lead to believe by others that I (fill in your fear or belief – I’ll use not too smart) was not too smart. That most others were smarter than me. That is an absolute LIE. In fact I am very smart. I have an above average IQ. I learn things quickly and retain most of what I learn. I am very smart.”

In this example I am first verbalizing what I was told (taught) by others. I then declare that this is not true, in fact a lie. I then state to the Universe the exact opposite using the two most powerful words in the Universe, I AM.

Think of this as erasing a recording made years ago and re-recording it with the actual truth.

3)    This comes right out of A Course in Miracles. When thinking a negative thought state the following:

“This thought I do not want. I choose instead (fill in what ever thought you want).”

Try them all and then choose the one you feel most comfortable with. You may address it to whomever you view as your higher power. I will typically say the one I’ve chosen 3-5 times and whenever possible out loud. It’s always best when you hear yourself saying these things.

With love,

Michael

Educating Out Our Fears!

17 Jul

Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out. ~Karl Augustus Menninger

I like to joke that each of us was born perfect and then our parents get a hold of us. But the more I joke about it the more I realize the truth behind the humor.

They say that babies are born fearing only two things; falling and loud noises. That means that every other fear we have was learned. But who taught us?  And here the answer is simple; we learned from those closest to us. Our parents, siblings, other family members, teachers, coaches, classmates and even religious leaders.

For most of us, these individuals taught us with love who and what to fear. They wanted to protect us. And so they taught us what to them was the “truth.” But hidden in those lessons were their own fears, doubts, insecurities, prejudices and even bigotries.

I have a nephew, a wonderful young man, who has an intense dislike for homosexuals. It’s almost as if he is two different people. On the one hand, he’s a great husband, father and businessman. On the other, he’s a bigot. One side of him I love, the other I detest.

I know where my nephew learned his hatred. Not from his parents, but from his grandfather who taught him why these people were “bad.” He loved his grandfather, and so he accepted his grandfather’s hatred as his own. After all, his grandfather wouldn’t lie to him, would he?

Just as my nephew learned to hate homosexuals he can also learn to be more accepting of the LGBT community. But only if he wants to. Like everything else it must begin with the desire to change, and as we know, change is never easy.

But think about this: What would the world be like if each of us took a hard look at our own fears and prejudices and decided to change only one; from hatred to love and acceptance?

With love,

Michael

A World Without Fear and Hatred

15 Jul

I’ve often wondered what life would be like if all the inhabitants of earth lived life without fear. Now, I’m not talking about fear of snakes or spiders, or even the fear of bodily harm. Those fears are real and if not acknowledged can be very detrimental to our wellbeing. No, what I’m talking about are the delusional fears that come from centuries of tribal conflicts handed down from generation to generation.

We typically refer to these types of fear as xenophobia or racism. Xenophobia is the intense fear and hatred of foreign people, their customs and culture. Racism is the intense fear and hatred of other races, and the belief that those races are inferior to our own.

Now where do these beliefs come from? We are not born with hatred and fear, so obviously it must be learned. But who teaches us to hate and disparage others? Unfortunately, it is the people and institutions we love and trust the most; our parents, grandparents, other family members, schools and even religious institutions. After all, they wouldn’t lie to us, would they?

This is the type of fear and hatred we learn over the kitchen table where tales of long ago wars and genocides are handed down from one generation to the next. These retellings become the seeds of hatred towards others that perpetuate long ago wrongs. Children learn which people they can trust and which they can’t. Which people are equal to them and which are beneath them. Which people to associate with and which to shun.

The ironic thing is that our customs and culture feel right to us because we were born into them, but others become judgments for fear, hatred, bigotry and racism.

So what would be different in the lives of earth’s citizens if we did not feel the fears of xenophobia and racism?  Probably fewer wars and conflicts between nations. Maybe less partisanship between differing political points of view. Maybe an end to racial and ethnic profiling. And then hopefully, a greater tolerance for others opinions based upon the fact that all people filter their perceptions through their communal customs.

And so I ask this of you my reader, that today you put an end to xenophobia, racism, bigotry and hatred of others in your life. And pledge to never teach your children to fear or hate another human being, but to only love your neighbor as yourself.

Remember, we are all children of the same God.

With love,

Michael

Fear Has its Cost – What Have You Lost Out On?

12 Jul

Often when we face a fear the only thoughts we have are in finding a way to get as far away from the fear as possible. This would be the opposite of facing the fear and doing what was needed to do. It is avoiding the fear to free ourselves from the negative thoughts and feelings of guilt and perhaps shame we are beginning to experience.

Our minds churn as we create excuses and reasons as to why we can’t do what we fear. When we’ve created enough excuses, backed by “solid” reasons, then, and only then, do we begin to feel better about our self.

We convince ourselves that if we called on a certain person or business with the hopes of doing business with them, they’d probably say no. Or if they told us they were happy with their current supplier we’d take their word at face value, and slink away because we’re too afraid to ask them questions about the things they are unhappy with about their current supplier. Or, if there is a certain person we’d like to get to know but fear convinces us that they probably wouldn’t want to go out with us, because (You Pick): I’m not attractive enough; I’m too nervous; I’ll probably embarrass myself; They probably want to date more popular people; They’re out of my league.

Every fear that we avoid can be quantified and we can then see in black and white what we lost out on when we avoided facing our fear head on.

The salesperson who knows that if she makes a set number of cold calls each day she will meet her numbers at the end of the month, and earn the commission she deserves and desires. But if fear stands in her way and causes her to make fewer cold calls she will know at the end of the month exactly what that fear has cost her. All she has to do is look at her commission statement.

What about the young man who learns that a position at his company has opened up that he would be perfect for, but doesn’t apply because he’d be intimidated by his new manager. It would be easy to quantify what he has lost out on. All he need do is subtract his current salary from what his new salary would have been and the difference is what he lost. And then multiply that number by the number of years he’d hold that position. But that’s only the beginning. He lost out on much more: Added prestige; Recognition by higher ups; Placement on the fast track, and so many others.

Take a moment and review the last 30 days. What fears have you given in to? Then ask yourself, “What have I lost out on? I have a feeling you’re not going to like the answer.

With love,

Michael

Act Like the Person You Want to Become

10 Jul

Another Born Rich Affirmation: I Must Act Like The Person I Want To Become

Before I begin, let me first define what an affirmation is: According to Scott Armstrong of the Boulder Coaching Academy, “Affirmations, really, are simple. They are you being in conscious control of your thoughts. They are short, powerful statements. When you say them or think them or even hear them, they become the thoughts that create your reality. Affirmations, then, are your conscious thoughts.”

Creating the life you desire is not always easy. It requires you to monitor and let go of the approximately 54,000 negative thoughts that scientists tell us each of us thinks in a day.

Now I know you’re thinking “how can I possibly monitor 54,000 thoughts every single day?” But, it is actually easier than you might think.  Each of us has been given a wonderful tool for recognizing when we are thinking a negative thought. Negative thoughts generate negative feelings. Now obviously you are not going to “feel” 54,000 thoughts, since most are just transitory. But some, like fear, last longer and you physically feel them. It is these thoughts that you have to recognize and replace with a positive thought.

And this is where affirmations come into play. When feeling fear you counter it by repeating a positive affirmation. The above affirmation works to counteract many different fears. Here are some examples:

Afraid to pick-up the phone and call someone:  Say again and again to yourself: I must act like the person I want to become – a fearless sales professional with a strong confident voice.

Afraid of networking or socializing: Say time after time to yourself: I must act like the person I want to become – an accomplished individual who loves meeting and speaking with new friends.

Afraid to reach out and ask someone out on a date: Say repeatedly to yourself: I must act like the person I want to become – a loving human being who is the perfect date for the right person.

Afraid to speak in public: Say regularly to yourself: I must act like the person I want to become – a confident person who has important ideas and thoughts to share publicly with others.

And don’t tell me you can’t act. Everybody can act. And the more you act the easier it becomes.

With Love,

Michael

Cause and Effect – Luckman’s Law

8 Jul

For many people their belief is that they live in a chaotic world where things just seem to happen to them. No rhyme, no reason.

I don’t believe that this is true.

My belief is that we live in an ordered world where we create our lives by our very thoughts.

If you believe that things just seem to just happen to you, then you probably don’t see that everything in your life (the effects) had a cause – a reason why it happened. But it’s true. Cause and effect go hand in hand. You won’t find one without the other.

Take the employee that can’t seem to get out of bed in the morning. When the alarm goes off they hit the snooze for another 10 minutes. It rings again and once more they bargain with it for just 10 more minutes. Finally they awake and rush to work, only to be late once more.

And then it happens. Their manager fires them. Their first response is why? Why fire me? I’m the hardest worker here. Nowhere in their reasoning do they see the effects (being fired) had a cause. A cause that they themselves created. Being consistently late to work.

Or take the salesperson that is responsible for opening a set number of new accounts each month, but they hate prospecting. They don’t cold call. Belong to no leads groups. And find it uncomfortable to attend networking mixers. Will they succeed in opening the number of new accounts required of them? Probably not. And who do they blame? Certainly not themselves. All they do is offer one excuse after another. I could’ve done better if it were not for; the competition, the market, the economy, our lousy brochures, our high prices, the weather, etc.

When things like this happen many people refuse to see themselves as responsible. But they are. They and nobody else.

So the next time you’re struggling with the effects – stop and ask yourself, did I cause this? If your honest answer is yes, then rejoice. You have taken the first step in holding yourself accountable – for your life.

With love,

Michael

Kirk Douglas – Huffington Post

3 Jul

I came across this article by the actor Kirk Douglas (father of Michael Douglas) yesterday, July 1, 2013 in the Huffington Post and thought it important enough to share it with you. He talks about bigotry, racism and prejudice and how it is learned. The interesting thing is that when I was around 9 years old I had a similar experience to Mr. Douglas. With tomorrow being July 4th where we celebrate the birth of our glorious nation, I thought you might want to see what a 97 year old thinks of our newest generation.

On Jews and Justice

I was six-years-old when I had my first contact with anti-Semitism. I came home from school one day with a bloody nose, crying to my mother — “Yanak hit me!”

“Why?” my mother asked.

“He said I killed Jesus Christ.”

“What? You killed who?”

“I didn’t kill him. I don’t even know who he is.”

My nose stopped bleeding and soon I was playing again with Yanack as if nothing had happened between us. It wasn’t his fault, because that was what he had been taught to believe by his father. And come to think of it, it wasn’t Yanack’s father’s fault either because he’d certainly been taught the same thing by his father. Maybe none of them could read, because if they had actually studied their New Testament, they would have learned the truth: that the Romans were the ones who crucified Jesus. Only the Romans had the right of public execution. The Jews were a tiny people subject to the laws of the Roman empire.

Rodgers and Hammerstein dealt with the subject of learned prejudice when they wrote the highly successful musical comedy South Pacific. South Pacific was a hit on Broadway but when they started the tour in the Southern states they ran into trouble. The state of Georgia introduced a bill outlawing South Pacific because it contained “an underlying philosophy inspired by Moscow.” The claim was based on one song, “You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught.” Here are the lyrics:

“You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” (Lyrics from South Pacific)

You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught from year to year,
It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate.

The Southern legislators maintained that this “song justifying interracial marriage was implicitly a threat to the American way of life.” Rodgers and Hammerstein fought stubbornly against them and the song stayed in.

I’ve lived a long time. Almost 97 years. I’ve seen a lot of fear-mongering, bigotry and discrimination. But now I’m also seeing a modern generation of children who view the world very differently than their parents and grandparents. For them, no amount of teaching will make them hate people simply because they’re different. That gives me hope.

Meanwhile, I will never forget my first bloody nose. It always reminds me of why I’m proud to be a Jew. As Mark Twain wrote, “[the Jew] has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him.”

Kirk Douglas

With Love,

Michael

You Were Created for Greatness!

1 Jul

My belief is that each and every one of us, upon our birth, was given the ability by our creator, to achieve greatness. But how many of us actually fulfill our destiny? I’m afraid not many. Why do you think that is?

I believe there are a number of reasons. First and foremost, is that nobody told us of our uniqueness as a human being. Nobody told us that we were capable of being and doing so much more than we are. Nobody told us that we could aspire to greatness. And, no one encouraged us to seek greatness. And so we settled for littleness and mediocrity, not even being aware that we could have just as easily chosen greatness.

For most of us growing up in our average middle class homes we didn’t see greatness first hand, and we didn’t know that we were capable of achieving all of our goals. So instead of greatness we accepted littleness. And felt that littleness would sustain us and bring us the joy and happiness that we sought. But littleness never does. Constant joy and happiness only comes from the belief that we can achieve anything and everything that we want, need and desire.

Another obstacle to achieving our greatness is our nagging thoughts that we don’t deserve greatness. That for some unknown twist of fate others were more deserving than us. So we accept our fate and never even venture to the point where we can even attempt greatness.

And, then of course, there’s fear. The fear that prevents us from even taking a risk. We fear failure and we fear success. We fear rejection and we fear embarrassment and humiliation. In fact we harbor so many fears that even stepping out of our comfort zones causes us enormous fear. And so we do very little or nothing at all.

There is a thread that runs through this article. Have you picked up on it? If not, no problem. The thread running through the above paragraphs is that everything relates to the thoughts we entertain in our minds. Literally, how we view ourselves. Of the 60,000 thoughts that scientists say we think in a day, better than 90% or 54,000 are negative. Negative thoughts that cause us to feel fear and turn away from challenges, because we don’t believe we are capable of succeeding.

To achieve your greatness means changing the things you think about. Because it is your very thoughts that cause your fear, and it is your fear that is preventing you from having, being and doing all that you deserve and desire.

Remember this: God made you for Greatness. Don’t disappoint her!

With Love,

Michael

To read more of Michael’s blogs go to: https://michaelluckman.wordpress.com/

Contact Michael: Michael@ OverpoweringFear.com or call 408.404.6764