Creating “Miracles” with the Rule of Five

Applying focused attention to seemingly “impossible” goals or dreams can lead to what some people call “miracles.” It certainly seemed to for Andrea Fisher after a terrible automobile accident left her comatose and without the use of her arms and legs.

When Andrea woke from the coma three months later, her husband immediately asked for a divorce. Andrea had been a happy and successful television producer, and now her life was turned upside down. Every neurologist consulted said she was quadriplegic and never going to get any better.

As soon as she understood the reality of her situation, Andrea set a monumental goal—to walk out of the hospital on her own some day.

Within a year Andrea was off the respirator. Within three years she stood up next to her bed. And within seven years she did in fact walk out of that hospital on her own.

How?

Every day Andrea focused on her goal and took specific action steps toward achieving it. She delved into the paperwork and preparations required to allow her a diet of holistic foods in the hospital.

She got regular massages and chiropractic adjustments. Even though she could not feel anything from the neck down, she knew they would be good for her body.

Each day Andrea spent time in prayer and meditation. She expressed gratitude for each breath she took, every beat of her heart, the good things in her life, and the possibilities for her future.

She went to work releasing her feelings of depression, anger, fear, frustration, and other self-defeating emotions that would arise. She also visualized daily, imagining herself working out, lifting weights, walking, riding bike, and all of the other physical activities she loved to do.

When she stood for the first time, Andrea surprised every medical doctor and neurologist. Later in her life she spoke at neurological conferences, and specialists around the world studied her case. They concluded that her walking again was a miracle, because there was nothing that could account for it.

But to Andrea it was no more a miracle than the fact that she could breathe or her heart could beat. She insisted she could explain every single detail of what she did to accomplish her breakthrough.

Imagine what you could do if you applied the same kind of focused attention to your personal goals. Maybe your goal won’t take seven years to accomplish as Andrea’s did; it might take seven months—or just seven weeks.

In my book The Success Principles, I refer to this daily focus as the Rule of Five. In it, I suggest making a list each day of five action steps that will move you closer to your goal. Then check them off as you complete each one.

Be very specific in your actions. If your breakthrough goal is to achieve your ideal weight, one day might look like this:

My five action steps today:

  1. Do morning stretches for 10 minutes.
  2. Walk for 30 minutes.
  3. Prepare a healthy lunch with plenty of green vegetables.
  4. Go grocery shopping right after lunch so that I don’t shop when I am hungry.
  5. Spend 15 minutes visualizing how I will look and feel when I achieve my goal or reading my affirmations.

The cumulative effect of these daily steps can be profound. Small action steps are manageable, and achieving them daily keeps you motivated and your momentum strong.

Whether your goal is to drop 20 pounds, run a marathon, start a business, or write a book, apply the Rule of Five each day and see what “miracles” you create in your life.

 

 

Limiting the Effects of Negative Environments

EnvironmentsIn an ideal world, we’d fully isolate ourselves from negative environments. The reality is that we can’t fully escape negative environments. However, there are steps we can take to minimize our exposure to negativity and limit its impact.

Acknowledge Your Reality

When we believe that we are being forced to tolerate a negative environment, such as a spouse who constantly complains or working for a company whose values don’t match our own, we can feel trapped and hopeless. The illusion of being subjected to negativity against our will can increase stress and depress our mood.

To regain a sense of control, it’s important to acknowledge that you do have a choice in every situation. You may feel that you can’t afford to quit your job because the pay and benefits are too good and the job market is too unstable. Instead of bemoaning the fact that you’re trapped in a job you don’t like, acknowledge that you do have the choice of quitting. Instead, you are choosing to keep your job, because you enjoy the stable pay and benefits that it brings. This simple reframing of your situation will ease your stress and make you feel more in control.

When you feel negative judgments arising, don’t resist them. Remember, what we resist, persists. Instead, acknowledge and embrace your feelings. Only by doing so will you be able to progress to the point of letting the negative feelings and judgments go.

Journaling is another excellent way to release your feelings. At the end of the day, pour out all of your negative feelings and thoughts onto paper. Use the Total Truth process described in The Success Principles to ensure that you’ve fully excavated your feelings about troublesome situations. Negative feelings are like weeds. If you don’t fully extract them (e.g., pull out the roots), they will come back. If you’d like, burn your journal pages or letters that you write.

3 Decompression Tips

When you find yourself repeatedly exposed to the same negative environments, such as your office, use one or more of the following tools to decompress and center yourself before moving on to the rest of your day.

•    Don’t listen to the news, which only adds negative images and thoughts to your mental space. If you commute between your office and home, spend your drive time listening to relaxing music or educational CDs. When I have to drive home from Los Angeles after a trip, I like to listen to a comedy channel. Because I spend the entire drive laughing, I walk in the door ready to greet my family pumped full of feel-good endorphins.

•    Create a decompression ritual to help you disengage from your negative environment. For example, take a walk after work, spend a few minutes meditating, or do yoga. A few minutes invested in nurturing and calming yourself will be rewarded with a calm and happy remainder of your day.

•    Do not use alcohol as a way to unwind. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, which means that any stress and unresolved anger you’re carrying will come bursting out more easily. The innocent targets of your attacks will the people who deserve your anger the least: your family and friends.

Add to Your Environment

There may be situations where you are unable to control an environment. However, that does not mean that you should give up completely. Look again to see what small steps you might be able to take to create a more nurturing supportive environment.

For example, if your office culture tends to be negative, hang motivational signs in your work area or select a picture for your computer screen saver that uplifts and relaxes you. Take a quick walk at lunchtime to reconnect with nature, or close your office door for a few minutes of breathing and meditation rather than gossiping over a cup of coffee.

Finally, strive to be as positive as you can be. Give up complaining and blaming, and look for the best in every situation. Not only will you attract other positive people into your life, you may be the beacon that inspires others to shift their attitudes, as well.


 

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Jack Canfield, America’s #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul® and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com


 

You Are Who Your Friends Are

friendsIt’s important to acknowledge the power of a positive attitude. This goes not only for yourself, but also for the people you surround yourself with.

Attitudes are catchy. Whether they’re positive or negative, they’re rubbing off on you. If you’re around people who complain, judge, spread negative gossip, blame others, and play victim roles, chances are you do, too.

Who are you around most?
Are they achieving their dreams or complaining about their circumstances? Do they look up to others who are go-getters and high achievers, or do they make fun of them and roll their eyes? How do they treat you?

If you’re spending time with people who don’t support your dreams and goals, it’s seriously time to look at whom you call your friends, and start networking to up-level your circle of influence.

Successful people surround themselves with successful people, plain and simple. They want to be around others who are achieving goals and making things happen. They want to know their secrets and strategies for winning. They’re not embarrassed to be hanging out with people who are studying for success and making good money.

You, too, need to surround yourself with positive influences. Join the clubs that other successful people are in, learn what they’re learning. It doesn’t matter from what walk of life you are coming from. Show up and transform yourself into an achiever! Success isn’t just for those who have had it easy, who came from supportive homes or had expensive educations. There are so many successful people who rose up from very poor conditions and overcame obstacles to achieve the goals they set their sights on.

But they didn’t get there by hanging out with negative energy-drainers!

Have you been limiting your success by letting yourself become influenced by other people’s negative energy?

Make a list of all the people you spend time with and make a note of the kind of personality they have. How many negative people are you around every day? How many people on your list are achieving their dreams, supporting yours and taking responsibility for their lives? You’re better off spending time alone than with people who hold themselves back with a victim mentality.

Simply stop spending time with the negative people on your list. Join the clubs that will put you in with a positive circle of friends. Set a new standard for yourself and don’t become friends with people who fall below that standard. Invite your old friends to come with you and you’ll know who has potential and who to stop being around entirely.

You have to take responsibility for this area of your life. Look around you at the people you call friends. Does it make you proud? Are you selling yourself short? Or are you on the right track?

Starting TODAY … make a conscious effort to surround yourself with positive, nourishing, and uplifting people – people who believe in you, encourage you to go after your dreams, and applaud your victories. Surround yourself with possibility thinkers, idealist, an visionaries!


 

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Jack Canfield, America’s #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul® and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com