Are you committed?

I heard the legendary entrepreneur John Assaraf talk about commitment and so I’m sharing my take on his lesson.

What does commitment mean in relation to a goal? I think of it as total dedication towards achieving a goal and constantly reaffirming your investment in it as well as your belief that you can achieve it. I see it as having an unstoppable desire to get things done and to see through on all of your actions.

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Start with the end in mind

I was recently having a conversation with a friend about this principle and because it is such a powerful one, I wanted to share my thoughts on it.

Starting with the end in mind is all about developing and specifying what your destination and your objective look like. The more precise you are with this vision, the easier it is to achieve it.

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Maintaining a higher vibration

Quite recently I’ve made the commitment to keep my vibration high. But what does that really mean? I would define that as maintaining a positive attitude, believing in myself and not allowing negativity to hold me back.

In the mornings I do my visualisations, affirmations and I also write in my journal. However, some days I can’t be bothered and I don’t really want to do it. But my morning routine makes me feel present, positive and excited about the day. And because of the commitment that I made to myself, I know in my heart that I can’t forgo it. Therefore, every day I make sure I get it done, instantly raising my vibration.

Whenever something bad happens or if things don’t go according to plan, I let it go and do not dwell on it.

For example, a few weeks ago I wanted to put some cash into my bank account. But on my way to the bank, the money must have fallen out of my pocket. I can’t lie I was shocked and annoyed. I was like “God, really?! You know I was just about to pay a bit of my rent with that money. What am I gonna do now? Nahhhh, in fact, what are YOU gonna do now?”

I took some deep breaths and reminded myself not to internalise my circumstances; I took that angry energy and threw it away. Far, far, far away. I said to myself someone who needed that money more would find it and put it to good use. I could work a little harder during the week and make double what I lost. Everything will work in my favour in the end.

I flipped the situation and turned it into a positive. I stayed in control of my emotions and the situation by keeping my vibration high.

This technique becomes easier over time because it’s all about habitual thinking.  The more I work at it, the more it becomes my default way of being and perceiving the world around me.

Acting as if

Acting As If is a powerful technique for manifesting things into your life. It involves giving yourself the experience of what you want to have, do or be. Acting As If tells the mind that what you desire is possible to attain and that your dreams can exist right now.

For example, you could go for a ride in the car you want to purchase, visit apartments in the area in which you desire to live or even eat at restaurants you’d love to frequent one day.

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As an actor, I have to do it all the time. I have to play different people and create a new world for each character I want to embody. I change the outside world so that my mind and body believe that I’m someone different on the inside.

In my personal life I do a lot of travelling, and to be able to afford it all I do what I call “basic travel”. That means budget airlines (where you bring a packed lunch onboard), walking long distances pulling my luggage to avoid taxi costs and travelling overnight when tickets are much cheaper.

I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent in the last few years on a smelly coach only to get off with my neck dislocated in about 12 places!

That’s not what I really want for myself. I want to travel often for work and pleasure, and I want to do so comfortably. And why not, right? Why not love the travelling part as much as I love being at the destination? And why not make the experience more exciting and peaceful?

So, in order to create the belief that I could do it, I booked myself a first class train ticket from Glasgow to London last weekend. The journey was easy, stress-free, comfortable and it gave me a taste of the future. And this experience is a vision I can hold onto to strengthen my belief and desire for luxury travel.

Henceforth, I’m going to travel in style as often as I can. If that means saving up for a bit longer or working a little harder, so be it. I’m worth the effort.

Reading a book per week

It’s week 15 of the year and I’m about to start my 13th book. I’m really proud of myself for taking the time to find new books and for making reading a priority each day.

I started off quite slow in January, completing only 2 books. Well, technically 2.7 but I gave up on the last one as it was thicker than the Bible… Last month I read 5 books and I’m on track to finish 6 by the end of this month.

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I had an audition last week and it didn’t go well.

I had an audition last week and it didn’t go well.

Yesterday I received feedback from the casting director who said my performance was underprepared. I was disappointed when I heard this, not because I was offended but because it was absolutely true.

Let me take you through my audition prep: receives the script, waits 4 days before reading it, reads it once, look at my lines a few times. Job done. I left the audition room looking and feeling pathetic.

The role was for a lead part at a big theatre in London and the way I treated the audition was not on par with the quality of work produced there.

It’s embarrassing to think that a big casting director thought I wasn’t very good, and it’s not what I want people to say about me as an actor. Though this obviously isn’t the end of the world, I will not allow myself to repeat this again. I take full responsibility.

In order to move forward, I’m flipping this experience into a positive.

*Opens window, exhales negative energy and inhales gratitude.*

What I can do now is reevaluate my game plan. I want to finish drama school very strong. I want to feel proud of myself knowing that I worked my ass off and did the best I could, so I’ve got to prepare for that.

That means showing up with the right attitude – a professional attitude. That means doing all the prep and research before I get to the rehearsal room. And above all, it means enjoying the process. The same principles apply to all future auditions as well.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic walking away from auditions or meetings or the rehearsal room knowing that I performed at my best and left a great impression?

This lesson has come at a good time where I need to be consistent with what I’m offering as an actor and in my efforts, ensuring that my identity and self-image are in total alignment with my actions.

Book review #5: You Are A Badass at Making Money (Master the Mindset of Wealth) by Jen Sincero

You Are A Badass at Making Money (Master the Mindset of Wealth) is a funny and engaging rulebook on how to live your best life, make a lot of money and not give a damn about your fears. The book teaches how to shift from a mindset of lack to one gratitude and positive expectation while maintaining a can-do attitude. I like Jen Sincero because she is totally honest, ballsy and is exactly what you’d want from an author with “Badass” in their book title.

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Jen was once broke. Broke af. She was living the struggle and for many, many years there seemed to be no way out. She didn’t begin to understand money until she was well into her forties. And as we know, by that time you’re expected have it all: house, car, home, family. Stress-free. Today, though, because Jen has done it all – not necessarily the way society dictates, but in her own badass way – she speaks with the utmost truth and brutal honesty.

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A lesson on g​ratitude

We often go round and round in circles in search of that big thing that’s going to fill our hearts with joy and bring us endless satisfaction.

I was listening to a podcast yesterday about living in the now. The host was saying that all we have is the current moment because the future doesn’t exist. Tomorrow never comes and we can only experience life in the present moment. And in order to fully live in the now, we have to have gratitude.

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Book review #4: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

I read Think and Grow Rich once before, perhaps 5 or 6 years ago, but I hadn’t taken much from it. Wherever I turned in the world of personal development people were always talking about the things they’ve gained from reading this book, so I thought I should give it another try. This time around it’s fair to say I feel somewhat transformed.

Napoleon Hill’s book is about cultivating the right mindset and developing the necessary skills for generating wealth, regardless of the size of your desired income. Having studied some of the greatest achievers in modern history, Napoleon collated these key principles for attracting wealth and success across 15 chapters.

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Hill says that the task of sharing these ideas with the world came from Andrew Carnegie who he interviewed in 1908. Carnegie shared with him the secret formula for success and gave him the assignment of studying and interviewing hundreds of accomplished men and women who could attest to this secret formula.

Napoleon Hill interviewed the likes of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford while writing Think and Grow Rich.

The first powerful concept is thoughts become things through the application of the correct principles. What is conceived in the spiritual world (in the form of thoughts) will be transmuted into a tangible result in the physical world. A burning desire is a catalyst for this process.

In chapter 2 entitled ‘Desire’, Napoleon Hill teaches that a clear, definite purpose backed by a burning desire will be realised each and every time, no matter the purpose.

Hill’s son, Blair, was born deaf and doctors repeatedly told Napoleon how his son didn’t have the necessary bodily instruments to receive sound. However, despite what the doctors said, he didn’t ever allow Blair to believe that he couldn’t hear. Instead, he transmitted to his son his own burning desire for him to develop his hearing and speech with constant positive reassurance and affirmations, firmly planting a strong belief in Blair’s subconscious mind from very early on.

In short, both parents didn’t treat their son as if he was handicapped. He was encouraged, nurtured and treated like any other child capable of hearing, although he was every bit the opposite. In spite of the unsuccessful operations, they didn’t give up on their desire.

One day the family was sent an electrical hearing device. They didn’t expect it to work because their son didn’t have the natural equipment that enables hearing, as the doctors had informed them many years prior, and they had already tested similar stuff over the years. However, to everyone’s surprise, Blair could hear perfectly well with this new hearing device. His parents’ desire had finally been realised.

Blair went on to work with the company that developed the device, travelling the whole country and teaching deaf-mutes to hear and speak with the same equipment that delivered him his own miracle.

This example is used to support the principle that a clear purpose is the first step in creating riches. More precisely, Napoleon Hill’s instructions for creating riches are:

  1. Fix in your mind the amount of money you want to have.
  2. Identify what you are willing to give in exchange for this money.
  3. Decide on the date you want to receive the money.
  4. Create a clear plan and commence immediately.
  5. Write out the above steps in a concise statement including your plan of action.
  6. Read this statement aloud before going to bed and in the morning AS IF IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED.

In the subsequent chapters, Napoleon describes the other principles that are attached to the plan and which will, when diligently used in conjunction with the plan, bring about the complete realisation of any definite purpose.

Firstly, the plan has to be carried out with faith. Faith is the key ingredient here because it is the light that leads the way. It gives you the courage and energy to undertake whatever action or surmount any obstacle. It’s about having belief in yourself, your purpose and your plan. Moreover, it is a state a mind that can be cultivated through the principle of auto-suggestion.

Auto-suggestion, like positive affirmations, involves repeatedly impressing ideas on the subconscious mind while using all of the senses. You feed your mind with your ideal(s) and get emotionally involved; you get excited about your purpose, you act as if it’s already come to pass and focus all your concentration on your desire. Engaging the senses in this process is especially significant because “your subconscious mind recognises and acts upon ONLY thoughts which have been well-mixed with emotion and feeling.”

Napoleon empowers by teaching his readers that they have the ability to influence their own subconscious mind by working with the infinite intelligence that is found within us all.

Other principles Hill discusses in Think and Grow Rich are that of persistence and decision. However, the most notable for me were chapters 10 and 11: The Power of the Mastermind and The Mystery of Sex, respectively.

My understanding of the Mastermind is that it’s a group of individuals who come together with similar intentions and values for the sole purpose of empowering and uplifting one another. The group works together to provide solutions to each other’s problems. The joining together of collective brainpower equips all within the Mastermind Group with greater intelligence, experience, knowledge and spiritual strength. This is especially impactful if members come from different fields of work.

I created my own Mastermind Group a few months ago and it’s been highly enriching because I can receive ideas, solutions and encouragement from the other members which allows for more growth and learning. And in return, I get to share my knowledge and experience with people who are always willing to take action. I wrote a post about my experience here: My Mastermind Group

I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion on the Mystery of Sex for many reasons. Napoleon lists the top 10 stimuli and names “the desire of sex expression” as number 1. The list includes fear, auto-suggestion, music, love and narcotics.

The desire for sex expression raises one’s vibration. However, this is only useful for wealth generation when the desire is transmuted into creative expression. For example, sexual energy can be harnessed to elicit creativity in literature, architecture or even industry. Napoleon argues that this is the very reason why some of the most brilliant minds of the past few centuries were A) motivated by the influence of a woman and B) successful after the age of forty.

Men tend to deplete their sexual energy and forces through endless indulgence as they come into adulthood and the subsequent decades. Nevertheless, he who learns to control his sexual desires and channel this energy into something more lasting and productive can eventually acquire success and great fortune. Indeed, noteworthy achievement is typically attained when a man is between 50 and 60 years old because he focusses much less on sexual pursuits. On this matter, Napoleon’s research addresses men only so I cannot confirm or deny if he would affirm the same theory for women.

In conclusion, Think and Grow Rich is a detailed book that can help you to open up your thinking and embrace the idea of attracting and generating riches. The principles have been tried and tested by the brightest and most successful men and women of Napoleon’s time.

Still, underlying each principle is the need for action. It’s not enough to read the book, nod in agreement at key points and expect cash to appear from left, right and centre. Money will not flow to you unless you actively implement the steps outlined within this book. Those who choose to follow Napoleon’s advice and persevere in their endeavours will be met with true abundance.

Well, I guess all that’s left now is to make a start!