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Step #6 What Is A Forcing Function?

Step #6 What Is A Forcing Function?

Step #6 What Is A Forcing Function?

We all need a forcing function to spur us forward. Forcing functions are expected outcomes that we demand of ourselves. They can take various forms, from timelines to “no turning back” options. They include the rewards of pleasure and the pain of not getting it done. 

 Forcing functions require a delicate balance between too much and too little. They must be at a level we can tolerate, and that moves us forward yet enough to put a little stress on us to spur us to act. Too much of a forcing function, and we might become frustrated and overwhelmed—allowing us to fall into procrastination. Too little of a forcing function, and it won’t be significant enough to move us to action. 

 I’ve found there is a fine line between the forcing function to move you forward, and the overwhelm of feeling like you aren’t going to make it. The key is to keep pushing through to the final result. The grit of moving forward in the face of significant obstacles is a trained habit.

 Here are a few forcing functions you might try to spur you to act.   

 Setting a deadline can be the catalyst to getting that forward momentum going. Creating a sense of urgency with a timeline can help you move forward rapidly.

Download Your FREE eCopy Of Rich Life, Wealthy Life

Reclaiming your love life, and getting your financial house in order doesn’t have to be painful.

Rich Life, Wealthy Life provides strategies for “stress-free” wealth development and delves into the leading cause of disharmony and divorce.  Here you will find solutions to emotional distress and a pathway toward empowering harmonious relations.

Make your goal a requirement in your mind—something that has to get done?

We have all heard the story of Cortez, the Spanish conquistador who ordered his men to “burn the boats” as a way of making sure his men were committed to their goal. This was a primary forcing function.

 Focus on the thrill of ultimate victory, and recent science suggests introducing a bit of “what if I don’t get it done” thinking too. The pull of success contrasted with the agony of defeat provides a more profound forcing function in our mind. Providing a hint of the suffering of failure can spur you forward.

 It is well known that we humans respond quicker and more dramatically to avoiding pain rather than seeking pleasure. Think of the consequences if it is not completed. What will you miss? How will you feel?

 Emotions spark motion!

 Feel the pain of not getting it done and the pleasure of completing your ultimate destiny. We are all driven to seek pleasure and avoid pain. You can use these emotions to become a goal-seeking missile, speeding relentlessly toward your target.

 To help you along, you will want to set achievable daily deadlines. Doable because you will want to celebrate your progress each day. This daily celebration encourages you to achieve your clearly spelled-out daily milestone. Make it a habit to celebrate the GAIN. An excellent book called The Gap and The Gain, by Dan Sullivan with Dr. Benjamin Hardy, explains how and why this is a powerful technique.

 The Pareto Principle states that roughly 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes. So, focus on the 20 percent that will get you most of the results you’re looking for.

An excellent reference on this topic is Eat That Frog, by Brian Tracy, or a short article titled What Is The Super-Cycle to Success, The Four Keys To Finding the Frick’n Fruit.

The Frog, your Focus, getting into Flow, and the Finish are vital elements to propel you toward the finish line.

 Avoid Parkinson, the adage that work expands to fill the time available for its completion in going after your goal. Stay focused on the immediate things that count. Don’t seek perfection unless it is indispensable. Often, the 80% solution will provide all the rewards, so allow yourself a little leeway when it comes time to call it complete. Perfection can be the enemy of good enough.

 Don’t let the world get in your way. We live in a world full of distractions; phone calls, text messages, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and hundreds of other things that can and will distract you from your goal—if you let it!. Stay focused and committed to your destination and the timeline you have set. Set up your environment to succeed. Make it happen!

 Be a bit like Cortez and his men—single focused on the goal. Making your dream a must, being committed, and having a sense of urgency will move you toward your destination faster. Setting a timeline and sticking to it–these are all forcing functions that will help move you forward.

Dave Razo

Author – Speaker – Leader - Investor

Dave spent a long and distinguished career as a pilot and leader in the United States Air Force. Along the way, he managed to obtain three graduate degrees.  As an investor in the stock market for more than 37 years, Dave has seen his share of ups and downs.  When Dave retired as a Colonel in 2006, he founded Razor Sharp Investments. Subsequently, he worked with an investment education company, teaching new investors how to handle their money, and then two brokerage firms doing the same thing.  In 2012, Dave founded his own investment firm.  Dave has always been fascinated by the question, Why do people do the things that they do?  On his discovery journey, he encountered Tony Robbins. He worked with his event staff to eventually progresss through the Institute for Strategic Intervention as a coach, making him ideally suited to tackle the most formidable challenges in a relationship.  Dave continues to be committed to a life of service, mainly serving those struggling in their relationships over money.  

Dave is dedicated to the values of
Integrity First  -- Service Before Self – Excellence in All We Do.
Author: Rich Life, Wealthy Life
From Successful Investing to Happy Empowered Living
RichLifeWealthyLifeBook.com

Three Keys to Your Best Relationship

Three Keys to Your Best Relationship

Three Keys to Your Best Relationship

         Above all, it’s the quality of your relationships that will determine
the quality of your life. Invest in your connections, even those that
             seem inconsequential.”                            Therapist – Esther Perel          

Your relationships impact every aspect of your life. The richness of your relationships is linked to a fulfilling life and your longevity. Yes, relationships are essential in the quality and the quantity of living. So, why not write a treatise? Why only write about three keys, you ask?

After 40 years of marriage, I wanted to keep it simple and give you my BIG 3. That’s about all I can focus on at any time, and I thought if I went into a long dissertation, it would frankly bore everyone to tears.

I know there are a lot more than three. In fact, there are a ton of character traits that are effective in building and maintaining good relations. One of the important ones and a close fourth is to stay focused on developing a happy long-term relationship. Have a long-range vision, a long-range perspective for your relationship, and keep it in the forefront of your mind. Be willing to work toward that goal every day, talk about it, imagine it, live into it.

Do you know how important a long-term perspective can be toward success? Dr. Edward Banfield of Harvard, after more than 50 years of research, concluded that “long-term perspective” is the most accurate single predictor of upward social and economic mobility in America. Long-term perspective turns out to be more important than family background, education, race, intelligence, connections, or virtually any other single factor in determining success in life and in work.

As I said, we’ve been married for 39 years and the times that I have gotten into the most trouble is when I prioritized a short-term gain or short-term pleasure in place of our longer-term desire for a sustained, loving, and fulfilling relationship. Fortunately, I was very good at begging for forgiveness, my wife was very generous with her graciousness, or we both hated the idea of making more of the situation than what it deserved. Thus resolving the issue.

Usually, it was just another human error along a long path of mistakes that we all have made. That is not to say that all character flaws in a relationship are equal. Some can damage or destroy a good relationship, and at times the damage is done twice as fast and cuts twice as deep. But the minor mistakes, the miscommunications, that occur in everyday life are a part of the differences that you must learn to live with and even appreciate. You can even learn to anticipate them with glee.

I wanted to give you what I believe are the top three keys to building and maintaining a loving, fulfilling relationship. Over the long haul, I think our 40 years together provide some of the “bona fides,” the authentic expertise, that you might want or need. Still, I will also bring in a few expert researchers to validate my claims. So here goes, in no particular order, the top three tips to building GREAT relationships–Presence, Trust, and Respect

Presence

First on the agenda is presence—the ability to connect and communicate authentically – being fully present with your partner helps build a strong relationship. This really matters. Presence is “showing up” in the relationship physically, mentally, and emotionally.

It is more than the occasional glance up from the endless scrolling on the phone or the barely understandable “uh-huh” during your favorite TV program. Other times we may be so worried about getting things done that we are not present to the people around us. These non-attentive episodes can pile up and can be devastating to a partnership. In fact, one study says that presence is the most significant predictor of long-term relationship success.

You are present when you give your full attention to your partner. Make sure your partner is seen, heard, felt, and totally engaged. Presence is the ability to focus on just your partner.

If you aren’t distracted by all the bells and whistles going off from your cell phone, tablet, TV, or computer, you can be available to focus on your partner. When you are present for your partner, they will feel it. They will sense your caring, your concern, your emotional connection. Being present in today’s hectic, distraction-filled world may be a stretch for some folks or seem impossible to others.

Slight growth in this area has a significant effect. Poor emotional presence involves the words, stories, and images that run through your mind when trying to connect to your partner. It is not thinking about what your favorite sports team did last night or how your friend will perceive your latest recipe.

It means BEING THERE, fully present, right now with your partner. Listening, caring, and sharing yields à connecting. And to really connect, sometimes you just have to listen.

Listening and Caring Shows You Are Present

Did you know if you rearrange the letters in the word LISTEN, you can spell the word SILENT?   It may seem like a big coincidence, but to really LISTEN, you have to be SILENT.

Listen → Silent

You may want to hold your opinion and just offer a sympathetic “listening” ear unless specifically asked. Many people don’t necessarily want to be fixed or repaired. Sometimes, they may need to vet their frustrations before moving on, and they need someone with a sympathetic ear to listen to them.

One definition of “presence” refers to a person or thing that exists or is present in a place but is not seen. A ghost, or spirit.

Now, this may not be too far-fetched either. Your partner wants to feel your spirit. You are present even when you are not physically there. Caring enough to consider what your partner might feel or want or need when you are not physically together.

Being Curious, Aware, and Not Judging

In an article by Justice Schanfarber, it mentions the following ideas to improve your presence:

  1. Be curious
  2. Be self-aware of how you are reacting with your partner
  3. Do not judge

Presence, in this sense, is about paying attention and not being distracted. Being alive, focused, listening, hearing, providing non-judging attention. We accept our partner for who they are, which may be enough. Having a presence in a relationship is to see and feel without judgment. When we can tolerate the imperfections in ourselves and in our partner, we can better demonstrate a presence in the relationship.

Demonstrating presence sends the message that we truly see, hear, and feel our partner. This generally feels good. Giving your presence is an act of generosity that many people must develop if they want a long-term successful relationship.

It takes a certain level of self-awareness to expand your world and consider your partner. Open your senses to each other when you’re together and raise your awareness to include your partner when you are apart.

Presence is vitally essential to healthy, long-term relationships. It can build a foundation for trust and respect.

 

Dave has a special place in his heart to help individuals and couples struggling in their relationships. For more information, go to: WeBuildABetterU.com or contact Dave at [email protected]

Trust

Our second key to successful relations is trust. Trust is the faith you have in someone that they will remain loyal to you and love you. To trust someone means that you can rely on them and are comfortable confiding in them—you feel safe with them. It is foundational. All relationships are built on a certain level of trust. Without it, the relationship will be shaky. Imagine living without faith in your partner. Each moment alone could become a bad dream where the ANTs, Automatic Negative Thoughts start to take over.

 Trust is Important on Many Levels

Trust is a building block of friendship and love, and, of course, intimacy. It is a building block and one of the foundational elements of a relationship. As such, it often takes a bit of time to build trust. It usually does not happen overnight. Your partner needs to know that you are trustworthy and won’t ditch them at the first sign of trouble. Trust helps relationships survive during tough times. Lack of confidence is one of the reasons many relationships fall apart.

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust

them.”                                       AuthorErnest Hemingway

Trust also helps overcome obstacles. When there is a bond of trust, there is a feeling that you can overcome any problems that arise together.   It allows you to feel safe and secure with your partner. It is a bonding factor for all the minor cracks that occur in day-to-day living.

When you trust your partner, you don’t need to explain or justify everything. It is reassuring to the relationship. It helps in healing after tense situations. It helps control emotions. You know your teammate is with you, and you accept them and believe they have the best interest of the relationship at heart. It builds confidence in the relationship because you both know that your partner will understand and trust your actions and decisions. 

“Not being able to let go and trust those around you can be incredibly
stressful. You will constantly be questioning the actions of those
around you, never feel in control and generally
unhappy.”                                    – David Cannell

Anthony Robbins and Cloe Madanes partnered to form the Institute For Strategic Intervention and developed a pyramid of stages that individuals, couples, or even teams go through to build trust. 

In addition, listed here are several specific behaviors that help build trust in a relationship:

  • Each partner is trying to do what they commit to and be reliable.
  • Be truthful, responsible, faithful, and caring—build trust.
  • Forgive each other quickly—especially on the small stuff.
  • Don’t hold on to past fights. Let it go.
  • Admit your own mistakes. It is part of life. None of us are perfect, but owning our mistakes is part of maturing and building trust.
  • Repentance, admitting your errors, and deciding to do better.
  • Connect with your partner. This is more than just the necessary communication. Refer back to presence.
  • Understanding what they are going through, what they are feeling and thinking.

Of course, even “minor lies” will damage trust between people in a relationship.

Honesty is an essential ingredient to develop confidence. Without honesty, you are setting yourself up to destroy belief in the relationship.

 Psychology Today Identified 7 Ways To Build Trust In A Relationship

  1. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  2. Be vulnerable—you may want to do this gradually.
  3. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt.
  4. Express your feelings – especially when it is challenging.
  5. Take risks together.
  6. Be willing to give as well as receive.
  7. Remember the role of respect.

 “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             – Stephen Covey

I am reminded of my sister reciting her vows, and she included the phrase it is better to be loved than to be correct. This can be a big part of trust—knowing that the relationship is more important than anything else and that neither of you would intentionally do harm to each other or the relationship. 

Insisting that you are right, you alone have the answer, that you don’t care what the other person thinks and that you can’t admit your mistakes damages trust and prevents a healthy and long-lasting relationship. 

The basis of trust is the mutual feeling that you have each other’s best interest at heart. More specifically, trust comes from the sense, the belief, that the other person wants to meet your needs. That means even when it is inconvenient.

Trust is the belief that your spouse has good intentions.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, sing it, Aretha!

Respect is holding your partner in an elevated position. Appreciating the uniqueness they bring to the relationship. 

Belittling, Condescending, Or Contempt Will Drive Down Respect

One of the most emotionally lasting ways our partners can damage us is by belittling us, making us feel small, or viewing us with contempt rather than respect.

 Crossing the line with disparaging comments, insults, denigrating remarks, or stonewalling damages the team. The destructive power of insults and denigrating remarks is well known. It is less known that stonewalling – not listening, not being present – has been proven to be a significant predictor of divorce. Stonewalling, blaming, and insulting convey the opposite message – that your spouse’s needs don’t matter, and this is disrespectful and kills trust.

Once a specific line has been crossed, it can be challenging to return to bliss. Innocent remarks can become metaphors and trigger the memory of the disrespectful interaction. 

If spouses spoke to each other with the same respect they show their friends, the line would probably never be crossed. Practice respect daily. Mom Junction wrote an article and highlighted the following ways to build respect:

  1. Seek your partner’s advice
  2. Remember their preferences
  3. Complement them (especially in public)
  4. Be open-minded to your partner’s suggestions & opinions
  5. Voice your admiration
  6. Seek forgiveness when needed
  7. Support your partner’s desires

Showing respect is a form of validating each other. Having your partner hear and respect your opinion builds confidence that you care and that the relationship is real. Of course, having an open mind and showing mutual respect is essential too. This is not a one-way street. Both individuals in any relationship must show their respect. It is ok to disagree, as long as you respect your partner’s views and provide them the validation that each of us wants and needs.

 A Pyramid of Power Relations — Trust, Respect, and Presence

Trust, respect, and presence create a pyramid of power. With any side of the pyramid damaged or missing from the relationship, the partnership becomes unstable.   When all three sides are in place, the relationship can provide a stable structure that can flourish and last forever.

Of course, it isn’t just about your significant other. You need to be kind to yourself too. Continue to develop good, healthy, positive self-esteem. Allow yourself to express your intentions and concerns at all levels. Bring out the best in yourself and give of yourself freely. Your spouse needs to see who you are to trust and respect you. Here are a few more suggestions that will keep you on the right path.

  • Stay positive
  • Respect other opinions
  • Appreciate ideas and acts of kindness
  • Be thankful
  • Show your love
  • Be mindful of tone—self-aware of reactions

 Without trust, presence, and respect, any relationship deteriorates, no matter how passionate it may have been at the beginning. With all three, trust, respect, and presence, a relationship can grow and flourish. It is a trifecta when you create feelings of unconditional trust in your partner. Respecting them for who they are and what they need. And being present for your partner, fully there for them, physically, mentally, and emotionally provides them that type of attention that can be addictive. It provides an even more profound sense of connection when you have all three. Implementing these three aspects of a relationship stops suspicions and cuts-out criticism. The result is a healthy, lasting relationship that can flourish forever.

Dave Razo

Author – Speaker – Leader - Investor

Dave spent a long and distinguished career as a pilot and leader in the United States Air Force. Along the way, he managed to obtain three graduate degrees.  As an investor in the stock market for more than 37 years, Dave has seen his share of ups and downs.  When Dave retired as a Colonel in 2006, he founded Razor Sharp Investments. Subsequently, he worked with an investment education company, teaching new investors how to handle their money, and then two brokerage firms doing the same thing.  In 2012, Dave founded his own investment firm.  Dave has always been fascinated by the question, Why do people do the things that they do?  On his discovery journey, he encountered Tony Robbins. He worked with his event staff to eventually progresss through the Institute for Strategic Intervention as a coach, making him ideally suited to tackle the most formidable challenges in a relationship.  Dave continues to be committed to a life of service, mainly serving those struggling in their relationships over money.  

Dave is dedicated to the values of
Integrity First  -- Service Before Self – Excellence in All We Do.
Author: Rich Life, Wealthy Life
From Successful Investing to Happy Empowered Living
RichLifeWealthyLifeBook.com

Article #5: Overcoming Obstacles

Article #5: Overcoming Obstacles

Article #5: Overcoming Obstacles

If you are new here, you might check out the first three articles HERE.

Know that the road will not be a straight, smooth ride toward the ultimate destination. There will be some turns, there will be some potholes, there may be some accidents, but know, believe, and even imagine that no matter the obstacle, you can climb over it, work around it, overcome it.

Stick to it, persevere; be resilient, relentless, and committed to these goals and they will be yours.

Life is complicated. In fact, James Clear wrote about this: “Problems seem to arise naturally on their own, while solutions always require our attention, energy, and effort. Life never seems to just work itself out.”

Why is that? There are multiple forces at work; one is entropy, and another is Murphy’s Law. Entropy is one of the great natural forces of our universe.

Entropy here is defined as a lack of order or predictability; a gradual decline into disorder.

This force is so fundamental to the way our world works that it permeates nearly every endeavor we pursue. It is the one force that governs everybody’s life.

Without effort, life tends to lose order. Before you get depressed, there is good news.

You can fight back.
You can clean a messy room.
You can organize individuals into a cohesive team.
You can build a financial fortress.

The odds are strong that you will encounter Murphy. Murphy’s Law, basically, is a pessimistic viewpoint that asserts that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. I don’t ascribe to believing that, but there are times when stuff happens.

You’ve all heard it before, S!*T happens.
Well, when Murphy strikes, strike back!
Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back to it—you can do it!

Successful finances, just like successful relationships, require care and attention. Successful houses require cleaning and maintenance. Successful teams require communication and collaboration. The only way to make things orderly again is to add energy.

Order requires effort.

Equipped with that knowledge, it is up to you to take the action necessary to become empowered.

Overcoming obstacles has a lot to do with GRIT.  Grit is a topic I have begun to learn more about through Steven Kotler’s work in Mindvalley called “The Habit of Ferocity,” and Angela Duckworth’s book titled GRIT.  Believe it or not there are prescribed methods to get more gritty.  In fact it is a habit that we can learn.

Overcoming obstacles is Step #4 in this process.

To help you put all this information together, I created the following chart to provide a visual representation of the process. You can find more details about the chart in the previous articles which are available at https://www.webuildabetteru.com/articles/

Or on Medium at https://dave-razo.medium.com/

If you would like to download a full-page color depiction of this chart send me a note at [email protected] and I will send it to you.  I promise.

This seven-step goal achievement process is completed by working each step left to right. Below the major headings is a summary of useful tips to accomplish each step. Getting into a peak state and practicing a daily mindfulness routine are very helpful for shifting your identity to the new blueprint you want to create. Periodically review your goals, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. through the “rinse and repeat process” to ensure you stay on track.

Download Your FREE eCopy Of Rich Life, Wealthy Life

Reclaiming your love life, and getting your financial house in order doesn’t have to be painful.

Rich Life, Wealthy Life provides strategies for “stress-free” wealth development and delves into the leading cause of disharmony and divorce.  Here you will find solutions to emotional distress and a pathway toward empowering harmonious relations.

In the coming articles, I will dive deeper into each of these seven master steps to provide you a path to achieving any goal you set your mind to. The next four steps are:

Turbo Boost – Flow & Environment – Bonus Material

  • Accountability –Forcing Functions
  • Massive Action—Revisions and Celebrations

So stay tuned, and we will get there together.
If you have questions, you can contact me at [email protected]

Dave Razo

Author – Speaker – Leader – Investor

Dave spent a long and distinguished career as a pilot and leader in the United States Air Force. Along the way, he managed to obtain three graduate degrees.  As an investor in the stock market for more than 37 years, Dave has seen his share of ups and downs.  When Dave retired as a Colonel in 2006, he founded Razor Sharp Investments. Subsequently, he worked with an investment education company, teaching new investors how to handle their money, and then two brokerage firms doing the same thing.  In 2012, Dave founded his own investment firm.  Dave has always been fascinated by the question, Why do people do the things that they do?  On his discovery journey, he encountered Tony Robbins. He worked with his event staff to eventually progresss through the Institute for Strategic Intervention as a coach, making him ideally suited to tackle the most formidable challenges in a relationship.  Dave continues to be committed to a life of service, mainly serving those struggling in their relationships over money.  

Dave is dedicated to the values of
Integrity First  — Service Before Self – Excellence in All We Do.
Author: Rich Life, Wealthy Life
From Successful Investing to Happy Empowered Living
RichLifeWealthyLifeBook.com

Article #4: Develop Empowering Strategies

Article #4: Develop Empowering Strategies

Step #3: Develop Empowering Strategies

You’re doing great, so let’s celebrate.

Remember, as you do each step, you should take time to enjoy the process. Even if for just a minute or two, celebrate. Tell yourself you are fantastic, that you’re making progress toward your goals, and that you see yourself hitting the ultimate outcome.

Many of us start the New Year with a new resolution, a new goal, but don’t stick to it. Studies have shown that approximately 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail. Failure has become so common that many people have quit trying.

I believe you can succeed. This is the third step and the fourth article written on this subject with the explicit goal of helping anyone with a dream, a resolution, to stick to it and achieve it. I am providing you with methods that have worked for me over the past 45 years.

My quest to find the holy grail, the magic potion, the anointed elixir, the secret formula has resulted in a seven-step process. Unfortunately, it is just a bit more involved than one mysterious secret can provide; it takes a few steps to get there. But it isn’t difficult or complicated if you move forward bit by bit. Remember the old saying? Inch by inch, it’s a cinch.

If you are willing to take it inch by inch, you can get there. Just take it one step at a time. I know you can do it. You can have new hope in obtaining your deepest desires.

You see, I have studied the best. Anthony Robbins, John Maxwell, Jim Rohn, John Assaraf, Mark Waldman, and Ben Hardy; all have parts of the puzzle, but I am here to give you the best of all of them, and along the way, we will become better at fulfilling our resolutions. I will provide you with a method to fulfill all your dreams if you are willing to take this journey with me.

So far, we have set the stage with three previous articles. To review them, or read them for the first time, Click HERE.

These articles cover an Overview of How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions; The Goal Setting Process; and Developing Your Desire, Your Why.

Now we move forward to the fun part, the action part.
Developing Empowering Strategies.

To reach your ultimate goal, you must take steps and achieve milestones that move you toward your final result.

 

 

What you will discover is that it is not having the big goal that makes it come true;

it is all the small steps you do consistently that move you, step by step, toward your ultimate destination.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Lao Tzu

So how do you develop these strategies?
Well, the short answer is you do your research.

Start by reading about those who have done it.
Biographies are a great resource.
Read what others are saying about your goal; use your internet search engine.
Listen to podcasts, youtube videos.
Go to meetings where people are talking about your desired outcome.
Meet people who are engaged in this subject.
Ultimately you will want to meet a person or people (either live or online) who successfully made the journey you are on. 
Befriend them, serve them and ask them questions.

Success leaves clues, and one of the fastest ways to accelerate your journey is to follow in the footsteps of those that have gone before you.

Write their steps down and adjust them for your situation.
Then, each day, envision yourself completing them.
This is pathway thinking, and having a clear pathway, one you are committed to, is crucial to your ultimate destination. 

Just as a pilot, you must know, see, and plot the course of your destination.

Download Your FREE eCopy Of Rich Life, Wealthy Life

Reclaiming your love life, and getting your financial house in order doesn’t have to be painful.

Rich Life, Wealthy Life provides strategies for “stress-free” wealth development and delves into the leading cause of disharmony and divorce.  Here you will find solutions to emotional distress and a pathway toward empowering harmonious relations.

Develop your strategies and take steps to move forward. Along the way, you may find you need more resources to make the trip. Please don’t allow your lack of resources to serve as an excuse—this is just one of many obstacles you will need to overcome. More on overcoming obstacles in a following article.

 For now, focus on being resourceful.
Find the resources you need, develop the contacts, look for opportunities, encourage the mentality that nothing can stop you along your path.

In the coming articles, I will dive deeper into each of these seven master steps to provide you a path to achieving any goal you set your mind to. The next four steps are:

  • Overcoming Obstacles – Grit
  • Turbo Boost – Flow & Environment
  • Accountability –Forcing Functions
  • Massive Action—Revisions and Celebrations

 

So stay tuned, and we will get there together.

If you have questions, you can contact me at [email protected]

Dave Razo

Author – Speaker – Leader - Investor

Dave spent a long and distinguished career as a pilot and leader in the United States Air Force. Along the way, he managed to obtain three graduate degrees.  As an investor in the stock market for more than 37 years, Dave has seen his share of ups and downs.  When Dave retired as a Colonel in 2006, he founded Razor Sharp Investments. Subsequently, he worked with an investment education company, teaching new investors how to handle their money, and then two brokerage firms doing the same thing.  In 2012, Dave founded his own investment firm.  Dave has always been fascinated by the question, Why do people do the things that they do?  On his discovery journey, he encountered Tony Robbins. He worked with his event staff to eventually progresss through the Institute for Strategic Intervention as a coach, making him ideally suited to tackle the most formidable challenges in a relationship.  Dave continues to be committed to a life of service, mainly serving those struggling in their relationships over money.  

Dave is dedicated to the values of
Integrity First  -- Service Before Self – Excellence in All We Do.
Author: Rich Life, Wealthy Life
From Successful Investing to Happy Empowered Living
RichLifeWealthyLifeBook.com

Five Steps to Eliminate Your ANTs

Five Steps to Eliminate Your ANTs

ANTs = Automatic Negative Thoughts

 

Ants are everywhere, and everyone has them.  ANTs are the Automatic Negative Thoughts that infest minds and can destroy your feelings, your mental health and your life.  Getting rid of the ANTs is time well spent, and in this article, I give you a simple 5 step process to eliminate the ANTs, clean them out and replace them with a PMA, a Positive Mental Attitude.

 

Where Are Your ANTS?

Automatic negative thoughts are everywhere in today’s culture.  It is hard to escape the constant bombardment of negativity, from the Covid crisis to election advertising, from holiday shopping to Corona quarantine.

ANTs, Automatic Negative Thoughts, as Dr. Daniel Amen calls them, can drive anxiety, depression, trauma, and grief.  They can ruin your day, steal your happiness, and prolong your suffering.  These days it seems like the ANTs are everywhere.

Well, the truth of the matter is that perception often becomes a reality.

 

The Facts

In America, 45% of those surveyed say the pandemic has impacted their mental health. For others, the holiday season can be the catalyst for more stress, anxiety, and loneliness.

This relationship is real for those already suffering from a mental health condition, with 64% of people diagnosed saying the holidays make their symptoms worse.

And in one survey, 75% of respondents said the holidays contribute to feelings of sadness or dissatisfaction.

Do you feel stressed, nervous, anxious?  Did you know that anxiety issues are the most common mental health condition in America, with over 18% of the population—over 40 million American adults–experiencing symptoms.

And these are the pre-pandemic numbers; a more recent study suggests the post-pandemic rate is skyrocketing to 32%.

Negative thinking affects the way you feel.  When you have a negative thought, your brain and your body release chemicals that make you feel bad.  The opposite of this is also true.  Happy, hopeful thinking makes you feel good.

 

Hope On The Horizon

More and more, the evidence is clear.  Our brain-body connection and how well it operates together are very adjustable, malleable, changeable.

The science is out there.  It is well established that Neuroplasticity, neurogenesis, Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), nootropics, and many more are proven scientific principles.  Many of these, even the most well-read student might need a dictionary (remember those?) or access to “Google search” to understand.

The bottom line is that we can help ourselves in this onslaught of negative thoughts.  We can influence the way we feel by controlling our thoughts.  Like anything in life, it takes a little consistent effort, and before you know it, you have a new mindset.

Now we have a triple threat bearing down upon us—first, a deeply divided culture with a richly debated election.  Second, the Corona pandemic and government-imposed “distancing” driving many people towards isolation. Third, to top it off, holiday stress and anxiety piling-on an already overcrowded pressure-ridden life.

In addition, we can harbor negative thoughts from our past.  They can reside deep inside your subconscious, covered-up by years of denial or suppression. Many of these thoughts may not even be true.  That is why you must use a system to eliminate them.

 

Killing the Ants

Killing the ANTs does not have to wait for us to understand the science.  You can take action yourself, and do them immediately, in the comfort of your own home. These actions can make a world of difference in your whole outlook.

Waiting for help may only make your symptoms worse.  This triple threat “dog pile” requires immediate action.  So here is a little self-help wisdom for you to solve or at least reduce the stress in your anxiety-filled life.

 

Change Your TV Channel

Changing your TV channel, I am talking about using positive Transformational Vocabulary (TV) can do you a world of good.  Whenever you feel yourself getting mad, sad, or out of control, use the following five simple steps to change the TV channel.

We can use this method to deal with trauma, stress and emotional pain by interrupting the pattern, evaluating its origins, reframing it and reinforcing the new mindset—thus driving home the new beliefs.

To go from stress, grief, and sadness to gratitude, strength, and resolve may not seem possible at this moment, but our minds are amazingly adaptable.

With this technique, we can create a new, more empowering mindset and result.  I summarize this technique as A-E-I-O-U.

 

A-E-I-O-U

A – Awareness is a superpower.  Write down the negative thoughts.  Often these thoughts are a pattern of thinking.  Writing them down will allow you to refer back to them later and see if there is a pattern.  Allow you to determine what triggered the thought, and then, of course, how you will KILL it.  If you are already aware of the issue, you might consider looking at it a bit deeper, what might have happened earlier in your life, and why you continue to feel this way now?  Or, if the feelings are even more intense, explore why they are this way?  When we are children, we sometimes over-dramatize situations because they look so much “bigger.”  Awareness can be a big part of interrupting a pattern of thinking.

E – Evaluate.  Take an honest appraisal of the situation and ask yourself a few questions.  Is it true?  Is the meaning you are bringing to this absolutely true or just partially correct?  Are you participating in ALL or Nothing thinking?  Are you comparing yourself to others?  Who would you be without these thoughts, these feelings?  Write your evaluation down.  Writing it down will help you keep track of your assessment—especially if your review changes over time.

I – Intention. What would you most like to feel in this situation?  How would you want to interact in this situation?  What are some empowering thoughts you might share with others to give them strength?  What empowering belief can you bring to the problem?  If you assume that all things

O – Optimism.  Positive thoughts are also SUPERPOWERS.  Bring a touch of optimism into your thinking, and what might be the positive outcomes of this situation?  How can you bring a positive aspect or way of thinking that might influence others?  Do you know what Martin Seligman found in a 22-year study at the University of Pennsylvania?  In his book, Learned Optimism, he summarized that being optimistic is the most important quality you can develop for personal and professional success and happiness.  Optimistic people seem to be more effective in almost every area of life.  To drive this point home, once again, write down your answers and review them consistently.

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U — YOU!   You need to reinforce your new way of thinking.  Only YOU can do this. I like to use affirmations or what I call “I-CAN-TATIONS.”  State the new empowering feelings, emotions, thoughts that you have created about the situation.  Use positive, first-person sentences of “I am” or “I have.”  This is the real gist of transformational vocabulary (TV).  Then visualize yourself in the situation and demonstrate in your mind’s eye your preferred situation or outcome.  There are other ways to develop your mindset, but these are just a couple of quick ones to get you started.  Write your “I AM” statements down and state them; imagine them twice a day, morning and night.  If you need additional reinforcement, you might try bringing different ways of thinking to them by going through the process again.  To take it a step further, imagine yourself in the same situation in the future and see yourself acting out the new empowering behavior.  This technique will help reinforce your thoughts into actions and your new identity.

 

Where Is the Holy Spirit?

 

If you are a religious or spiritual person, a believer, you might take comfort in many scriptures that emphasize this same concept.  Both Paster David Jeremiah and Pastor Joel Osteen are proponents of biblically-based positive self-talk. Adding the power of the almighty to your “I-Can-Tations” can only act as a “steroid” to your transformational vocabulary and beliefs. 

 In a recent sermon, Pastor Jeremiah emphasized the following;

  1. Be positive about God’s Love for you.
  2. Be positive about God’s plan for you.
  3. Develop positive conversations with others.
  4. Speak positively to yourself.

Joel Osteen’s new book, “Empty Out the Negative” has a focus on:

  1. Overcoming disappointment, doubt, fear, and worry.
  2. Moving beyond the hurts and wounds of the past.
  3. Taking hold of success and God’s favor.
  4. Receive every good thing that God has for you.

Pastor Osteen has the overarching belief that God created you to be filled with love, joy, confidence, and success.  A belief that God made you in His image and calls you a masterpiece. A view that you can let go of the negative and make room for the positive.  Guilt, resentment, unforgiveness, anger, worry, doubt—these are things that weigh us down. They don’t have to be permanent.

It is interesting to note that both Dr. Amen and Pastor Jeremiah are not big fans of positive thinking (I am not sure about Pastor Osteen).   But what we are talking about here are some practical methods to eliminate negative thinking and replace them with positive thoughts and turning those thoughts into how we feel and act. 

If that involves the Holy Spirit, so be it.   This is important, essential stuff! 

Knowing how to destroy your ANTs has been shown in scientific studies to be as effective as antidepressant medications in treating anxiety and depression. 

Challenging negative thoughts takes away their power and gives YOU control over your thoughts, moods, and behaviors.

Make killing your ANTs a daily habit. It may take some practice. You can’t just do it once and think you’ve mastered your thinking patterns. When you make it a daily routine, you will feel freer, less anxious, and much happier. 

Dave Razo

Author – Speaker – Leader – Investor

Dave spent a long and distinguished career as a pilot and leader in the United States Air Force. Along the way, he managed to obtain three graduate degrees.  As an investor in the stock market for more than 37 years, Dave has seen his share of ups and downs.  When Dave retired as a Colonel in 2006, he founded Razor Sharp Investments. Subsequently, he worked with an investment education company, teaching new investors how to handle their money, and then two brokerage firms doing the same thing.  In 2012, Dave founded his own investment firm.  Dave has always been fascinated by the question, Why do people do the things that they do?  On his discovery journey, he encountered Tony Robbins. He worked with his event staff to eventually progresss through the Institute for Strategic Intervention as a coach, making him ideally suited to tackle the most formidable challenges in a relationship.  Dave continues to be committed to a life of service, mainly serving those struggling in their relationships over money.  

Dave is dedicated to the values of
Integrity First  — Service Before Self – Excellence in All We Do.
Author: Rich Life, Wealthy Life
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