Archives For Exploring Leadership Soulutions Monthly Word

Stress

July 4, 2016 — Leave a comment
This Friday I had the unfortunate opportunity to attend a friends funeral. We never worked directly together or hung out, but we briefly talked when we’d run into each other. So I would call Glenn a friend because he was so easy to talk with, and I think that was why the church was full, not a single empty pew.
Glenn was one of the good guys, who was eagerly waiting for retirement, but didn’t make it in his physical life but I’m sure he’s enjoying it in his afterlife. Like most of us he had a stressful job with high demands. Now, I’m not saying the job was the reason he passed away, but stress can contribute to it. And that’s why we need to take a deep breath, (literally, take a deep breath), and slowly exhale.
And that’s the first tip to relieving stress, when you feel stressed, close your eyes (unless you’re driving, or walking) and take some deep breaths. Breathe through your nose into your belly and then up into your chest and slowly exhale. After about four or five deep breaths let your breath return to normal and just focus on your breathing until you’ve calmed down. Of course when you start to do this you’re actually meditating in its simplest form. Focus on your breathing and when the outside thoughts creep in, because they will, refocus on your breathing. The point of meditating isn’t to always have a silent mind, it’s to realize when you lose focus, push away the outside thought and refocus on your breathing or whatever it is that you’re focusing on. It helps to train your super computer to stay focused better. Making you more productive. I’ve been using the meditation app Headspace for over a year and you can try it for a free ten day trial period.
The second tip is to go for a walk. If you get breaks at work do you use them to get moving, or do you just skip them? You may feel like you’re being more productive if you work through your break, but in reality you’re more productive when you take breaks. You may even be more creative due to getting more blood and oxygen into that super computer between your ears. Even better, at least I think it is, is to do some Tai Chi/Qi Gong. Tai Chi is called moving mediation, you breath as you focus on the movements, getting a good workout, and building internal energy (Qi) instead of depleting it. If you’re interested you can do 15 minutes for free online at TaiJiFit.net at 8:00 am and 7:00 pm ctrl time, Monday through Saturday. And there’s plenty of demonstrations on David Dorian Ross’s YouTube channel, he has a good sense of humor and may even make you laugh.
The third tip is to laugh. I know, it sounds simple enough but it helps with stress because it releases feel good hormones. Put something funny in your Mp3 player and listen to it while you walk. Who cares what other people think as you walk past them laughing, just don’t stare at them as you laugh. Mayo Clinic reports that some of the short-term benefits is that laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air and stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress. Long-term effects of making laughter a regular practice is that it improves your immune system. Negative thoughts cause a chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and illnesses. Laughter may even ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers and can help lessen depression and anxiety.
The forth tip to relieve stress is to take a vacation. I’m not one to preach here, but I know I need to take a vacation, sooner or later. It’s hard to take a vacation when you get to do what you like to do. I think the key is to find an activity that lets you lower stress and cortisol levels, the stress hormone that damages our body when we get too much of it. The Harvard Business Review articleWhen a Vacation Reduces Stress — And When It Doesn’t reports that positive vacations have a significant effect upon energy and stress. In their study, 94% of employees had as much or more energy after coming back after a good trip. In fact, on low-stress trips, 55% returned to work with even higher levels of energy than before the trip. We all know that vacations can be stressful, so to create a positive vacation make sure you; 1) focus on the details, 2) plan more than one month in advance, 3) go far away, and 4) meet with someone knowledgeable at the location.
Unfortunately, most of these stress relieving tips we’ve heard before, so why don’t we do them? It’s the big space between knowing and doing, called the potential gap. We can’t even imagine our potential so we don’t do the simple things. Which in turn cause us stress, it’s almost like our subconscious is having us do things to keep us in our own reality, that life is stressful.
Oh wait, our subconscious does keep us in what we think our reality is. Change starts with the thought that you can change, once you know you have control over your life, your stress levels may decrease. Once you believe you can change, you’re more likely to take action, not stress about not taking action.
So the fifth tip is to take control of your thoughts, as the book As A Man Thinketh states, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” In the chapter “Effect of Thought on Health and the Body,” Allen states, “Disease and health, like circumstances, are rooted in thought. Sickly thoughts will express themselves through a sickly body.” He continues to write, “Strong, pure, and happy thoughts build up that body in vigour and grace?” 
You are what you believe, if you want to get out of a stressful situation then believe that you can be out of it, then start to plan to do it and then of course, take action.
But it begins with belief.

StandOut 2.0

July 2, 2016 — Leave a comment

Marcus Buckingham first published “First, Break All the Rules” and then “Now, Discover Your Strengths,” brought to mainstream business the importance of focusing on developing our strengths, not our weaknesses was how we reach our true potential. He added to this conversation when he published “StandOut” which provided new insights and more important, an online assessment tool. The updated version “StandOut 2.0” gives you your own Personalized Strengths Channel, the program can send you a weekly tip, insight, or technique to help you build on that strength.

This assessment isn’t how you perceive yourself, but as others see you. The assessment does this by giving scenario examples where the choices are equally good and limited time to respond so you don’t overthink them. It uses specific “trigger words” that your true personality type will subconsciously relate to, so you’re forced to answer what first comes in your mind. The results show you how other people see you as, not how you see yourself. It claims that you can’t skew your answers to how you want your themes to come out, unlike most other assessments.

The StandOut assessment is broken down into nine different roles, unlike the 34 themes from the Strengthfinders assessment. Although the Leadership Based Strengthfinders book narrow those 34 themes down into four leadership domains strengths of Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building and Strategic Thinking. More on that assessment in a future article.

The StandOut report provides you with a graph which ranks them from your strongest to weakest role. The top two roles is what your biggest contribution to the team is. Here’s an example:

StandOut Graph

The nine roles are defined as follows;

1) Advisor: You are a practical, concrete thinkier who is at your most powerful when reacting to and solving other people’s problems

2) Connector: You are a catalyst. Your power lies in your craving to bring two people or ideas together to make something bigger and better than it is now.

3) Creator: You make sense of the world–pulling it apart, seeing a better configuration, and creating it.

4) Equalizer: You are a levelheaded person whose power comes from keeping the world in balance, ethically and practically.

5) Influencer: You engage people directly and persuade them to act. Your power is your persuasion.

6) Pioneer: You see the world as a friendly place where around every corner good things will happen. Your power comes from your optimism in the face of uncertainty.

7) Provider: You sense other people’s feelings, and you feel compelled to recognize those feelings, give them a voice, and act on them.

8) Stimulator: You are the host of other people’s emotions. You feel responsible for them, for turning them around, for elevating them.

9) Teacher: You are thrilled by the potential you see in each person. Your power comes from learning how to unleash it.

My primary role is Provider and my second role is Stimulator, as replicated in the above image. The assessment gives you a snapshot of what your greatest value to the team is, here’s what mine said;

You make sure that every voice is heard. You are the expert listener. You are gifted at hearing our stories, honoring them, and then helping us to move forward. Your guiding belief is that we can answer our own questions, respond to our own challenges, find our own power to think something through and then take action. When we are down, you pull us back up and get us feeling like we have it within us to charge forward. Where some people excel at arbitration, hearing both sides and deciding for everyone, you are an excellent mediator, carefully paying attention and finding the common ground, staying positive, and keeping faith that there is indeed a resolution — all with your characteristic self-deprecating yet energizing brand of humor. You make sure that every voice is heard.

The report lists a number of different other suggestions like; You, at your most powerful; How you can make an immediate impact; How to take your performance to the next level; What to watch out for; How to win as a leader, How to win as a manager, How to win in client services and How to win in sales. It also outlines what your ideal career would be, here’s mine as other people see me;

You make us feel that we have it within us to charge forward. When we are down, you pull us back up and get us feeling like we have it within us to charge forward. This is a guiding belief of yours: that we can answer our own questions, respond to our own challenges, find our own power to think something through and then take action. You will find yourself drawn to psychology, sociology, and counseling, because they will help you understand more deeply why people get stuck, and which emotional triggers you can trip to release them. You will excel in these roles, or indeed any role that requires you to be an expert listener–here your gift will be to hear the person’s story, honor the story and then use it to help her move forward. This gift will also serve you well as a mediator. Not an arbitrator, but a mediator: someone who is paid to help each party stay positive, find the common ground, and keep faith that there is indeed a resolution. You will also shine as a facilitator. In this role you won’t get caught up in the content of the session, but instead will be attuned to making sure that every voice is heard, and that the mood of the room stays lively. Wherever you are, we will warm to your self- deprecating yet energizing brand of humor.

For those of you that know me, please leave a comment if you think this is true or not.

I definitely recommend this book and assessment, “StandOut 2.0” is a tool that enables you to identify your strengths, and those of your team, and act on them. It’s an easy assessment to take and gives you an online platform to display your results and receive tips to help you build on those strengths. You can get a book on Amazon for less than $15 and it comes with a code to access the online platform.

References;

StandOut Assessment

https://tmbc.desk.com/customer/en/portal/topics/854859-standout-assessment/articles?b_id=11035

Marcus Buckingham Wants You to StandOut

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2011/09/12/marcus-buckingham-wants-you-to-standout/#25cc0ff92dea

Free StandOut Strengths Assessment

http://www.strengthsmining.com/2014/02/persistance-without-purpose-is-just-misplaced-passion/

StandOut 2.0: Assessing Your Strengths

https://youtu.be/3J9nyE1QeP8

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality inventory has been around for a number of decades and is one of the most popular personal assessments used. It helps individuals to understand their behavior by seeing how they prefer to use their perception and judgment.

Perception is how we become aware of things, people, happenings, or ideas. Judgment is how we coming to conclusions about what has been perceived. If people perceive things differently they come to different conclusions, showing how they are different in their interests, reactions, values, motivations, and skills.

The MBTI is broken into 16 distinctive personality types that combines eight different categories into four groups;

  • Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I): Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world?
  • Sensing (S) or Intuition (N): Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning?
  • Thinking (T) or Feeling (F): When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances?
  • Judging (J) or Perceiving (P): In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options?

Your preference in each category gives you your own personality type, which is expressed with four letters in 16 different personality types: ISTJ, ISFJ, INFJ, INTJ, ISTP, ISFP, INFP, INTP, ESTP, ESFP, ENFP, ENTP, ESTJ, ESFJ, ENFJ, ENTJ. You can go to the official MBTI website to check out all of the definitions and pay for a self-assessment, or you can go to a number of sites that you can take a quick MBTI assessment for free to give you a good indication on what your MBTI is.

I won’t go into each one of the 16 type indicators except to briefly outline the Intuitive, Nurturing, Feeling, Judging (INFJ) one, because that’s what I am.

My MBTI is Introverted, iNtuiting, Feeling, Judging (INFJ). In an article by Marina Margaret Heiss, INFJs are distinguished by both their complexity of character and the unusual range and depth of their talents. INFJs tend to be idealists, and because of their J preference for closure and completion, they are generally “doers” as well as dreamers. This rare combination of vision and practicality often results in INFJs taking a disproportionate amount of responsibility in the various causes their drawn to.

INFJs are sometimes mistaken for extroverts because they appear so outgoing and are genuinely interested in people, but INFJs are true introverts, who can only be emotionally intimate and fulfilled with a chosen few long-term friends, family, or “soul mates.” Occasionally INFJs will withdraw into themselves, shutting out even their mates. This provides them with both time to rebuild their depleted resources and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are susceptible to as inherent “givers.” INFJs need to be able to express their creativity and insight and need to know that what they are doing has meaning, helps people, leads to personal growth and is in line with their values, principles and beliefs.

Since I’m into studying leadership, I always like to see how my personality type relates to how I lead. INFJs are often reluctant in exercising their authority who prefer to see subordinates as equals. They leave the technical systems and factual details to more capable hands, and work hard to inspire and motivate, not crack the whip. INFJs’ also expect their subordinates to be as competent, motivated and reliable as they themselves are. Basically, they lead by example.

Some of the famous INFJs, or determined to be INFJs are; Plato, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter (U.S. Presidents), Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., Carl Jung, George Harrison from the Beatles, and Mark Harmon from the television series NCIS. Some of the INFJ’s that I’m afraid to say that I have the same personality type are two of the most evil men from the past century, Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden.

Take the free MBTI assessment to see what type you are, if you’ve never done it before I’m sure you’ll be surprised that what you do is normal for you, it’s alright to be different from others. Once you understand why you do what you do, you’ll become more comfortable with who you are.

After you take the assessment post what your type is.

“When people differ, a knowledge of type lessens friction and eases strain. In addition it reveals the value of differences. No one has to be good at everything.” ~ Isabel Briggs Myers


References

The Myers & Briggs Foundation
http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/

The Myers & Briggs Foundation assessment
http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/take-the-mbti-instrument/

16 Personality Types (free personality test)
https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test

Jung Typology Test™ (free)
http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp

Famous INFJs
http://www.celebritytypes.com/infj.php

Like a light house casting its beam into the dark foggy night to guide sailors to port or away from danger. Knowing ourselves helps us locate who we truly are, helps us better react to danger, and why we’ve been allowed to explore this sea called life.

The saying Qnothi Seautom was located above the Oracle of Deplhi in ancient Greece was studied by the great philosopher Socrates, who was eventually put to death due to the Oracle of Deplhi saying no one was wiser then he was. At first Socrates disagreed because he knew that he possessed no wisdom. He talked to other men who were considered wise but concluded that while each man thought he knew a great deal and was wise, in fact they knew very little and were not wise at all. While these wise men thought themselves wise but weren’t, Socrates himself knew he was not wise at all, which made him the wiser since he was aware of his own ignorance. Unfortunately for Socrates the wise men of Athens that he questioned became offended and found him guilty of corrupting the youth’s minds and for not believing in the gods of the state. His death sentence was to drink a mixture containing the poison hemlock.

That’s why we need to pay attention to not only the words we say but also the tone of our voice, and most importantly, what our body language is communicating. If you don’t understand how your tone of voice and body gestures are interpreted by others, you may be offending people without even knowing it. Then we wonder why people are rude to us, or charge us with corrupting the youth’s minds.

Our awareness increases when we get to know who we are and how our actions affect other people. This is also the foundation for emotional intelligence, knowing how our emotions affect other people’s emotions.

If we struggle to live or get along with others, is it because we struggle to get along with ourselves? And if we get to really know who we are, are we more likely to like that person you call, ME?

In order to lead others effectively we need to lead ourselves effectively FIRST.

What does it mean to have bliss? Is it to be happy? It must be more than that, and how come so many people struggle to have it?

How come so many people struggle to have happiness?

Happiness is a choice, what makes one person happy can make someone else upset. It’s how their past experiences affected their feelings at the time, and those feelings will come out when that experience happens again.

Until you realize that the feelings you have are linked to past experiences, you can’t release what makes you upset.

Maybe you achieve bliss by being able to control the negative feelings you have and always look on the positive side of each experience. What is the learning experience?

So we need to figure out what prevents us from being happy, what internal truths, may not be truths.

Bliss has to be more than just happiness on steroids. Its definition is ‘paradise,’ or what we would believe heaven to be. But does that definition lead us to believe that we can only achieve bliss in the afterlife? That we need to suffer during our present life to make us deserving of eternal bliss.

What if we don’t get to experience eternal bliss if we don’t find bliss in our physical life? If you believe what Napoleon Hill outlines in his book “Outwitting the Devil,” 98% of the people aren’t following their true purpose, and when we don’t follow our true purpose we commit one of life’s biggest sins, not doing what the Grand Overall Designer but us on this earth to do.

When we find and live or purpose we may find and live blissfully. So how do we achieve bliss?

In an article by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev on Being Blissful, he states that “How you become blissful doesn’t matter. Somehow you become blissful. That all that matters.” It sounds like the harder you try to find blissfulness that harder it is to achieve it. Like all great things in life, the harder we chase it, the harder it is to capture. I think it’s because we expect too much from others to help us be happy, but we’re happy when we learn about ourselves, and are able to accept ourselves. Once we can accept who we are, it’s easier to accept others for who they are.

When we can accept others for who they are we can look past their flaws and see the real person, the person they can be.

“Blissfulness is not something that you earn from outside. It is something that you dig deeper into yourself and find.” ~ Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

Joseph Campbell said, “If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are — if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.”

So how do we follow and find our bliss? Eric Butterworth outlines a nine step guide to living your bliss in the article “Want a Step by Step Guide to Follow Your Bliss”. It basically breaks down as follows;

• The process has to start with you. What do you value and what makes you happy. But on a deeper level, do you even know who you are, what are your roadblocks, or dragons as Joseph Campbell calls our barriers.

• Take some time and start writing down all of your past experiences that you found enjoyable, ones that made your heart beat faster and you lost track of time doing. Continue adding to your list over a week or even a month, until you see a pattern.

• Once you start to see a pattern in what activities gave you the most joy, prioritize them, which activities did you enjoy the most and added the most value to you and more importantly, the value it added to someone else?

• Add the top activities that bring you happiness to your schedule. What can you do daily, weekly, monthly AND yearly that makes you happy, do it often enough and you may start to live a blissful life.

If you want to make a living by working in your bliss think of situations when other people may come to you for suggestions, help or listened to your thoughts on the subject. Is it something that adds value to them or the company they work for?

Are you getting paid for that information or service?

If not, why not? Even if you are living a blissful life you need to eat.

Napoleon Hill states that before you can apply the principles of the Think and Grow Rich philosophy you must study and understanding three enemies to the sixth sense; indecisions, doubt and fear.

Indecision can be considered as the habit of permitting others to do one’s thinking. Or letting others criticism delay us from moving forward with what our sixth sense is telling you.

Have you ever had an idea and shared it with someone else and they thought it was stupid? Your sixth sense gave you that idea but we let others prevent us from taking action on it. Eventually, if we listen to those negative comments, we stop listening to our sixth sense and think of our ideas as just “pipe dreams.”

With indecision comes doubt. We need to give ourselves a reason why we’re not following through, so we tell ourselves that we don’t think we can do it or it’s a stupid idea like your friend said it was.

So we slowly reprogram our subconscious to believe that we can’t do it. How crazy does that sound?

Unfortunately, it’s crazy enough that eventually, that doubt turns into fear. Now our brain is afraid of doing what our sixth sense originally told us our path was.

Fear is a great motivator, most people will run from something they’re afraid of. But what causes us to fear pursuing our desires? It’s a battle we all fight and most of that fight happens internally.

Napoleon Hill outlines Six Basic Fears that we all suffer from at one time or another, but hopefully not all at once, they are;

The fear of POVERTY
The fear of poverty or clinically known as Peniaphobia, originates from the word penia in Greek meaning poverty and phobia meaning fear. This fear paralyzes you from moving toward your purpose and is the most destructive of all the six fears.

There is a number of symptoms of the fear of poverty, some of which surprised me, but if you don’t conquer these fears you will be destined for the poor house.

INDIFFERENCE is commonly expressed through lack of ambition and accepting life circumstances without protest. It can also be the lack of initiative, imagination, enthusiasm and self-control.

DOUBT is expressed through alibis and excuses and individuals may show envy of successful people, or criticize them.

WORRY is expressed by finding fault with others and individuals may even neglect their personal appearance. They may show signs of nervousness, lack of poise, self-consciousness and self-reliance.

OVER-CAUTION is the habit of looking for the negative side of circumstances and focusing on failure instead of succeeding. Over-cautious individuals may be pessimistic, and could suffer from bad indigestion, poor elimination, auto-intoxication, bad breath and bad disposition.

PROCRASTINATION is the habit of putting off until tomorrow that which should have been done last year. Individuals may refuse to accept responsibility and be willing to compromise with difficulties instead of learning from them and moving to the next step. Other signs of procrastination may be the lack of self-confidence, definiteness of purpose, self-control, initiative, enthusiasm, and ambition.

EXPECTING POVERTY INSTEAD OF DEMANDING RICHES. You’re only the average of the five closest people to you. Individuals need to associate with people who demand and receive riches and not those who accept poverty.

The fear of CRITICISM
The fear of criticism is clinically known as enosiophobia, which not only covers an unnatural fear of criticism, but also a fear of having committed unpardonable sin(s) mentioned in the Bible. This fear is believed to have originated about the same time politics became a profession.

This fear, like the fear of poverty, are fatal to personal achievement because it destroys initiative, and discourages the use of imagination.

The major symptoms for the fear of criticism can be associated with,

SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS which is generally expressed through nervousness, timidity in conversation and in meeting strangers, they may have awkward movements of the hands and limbs and shifting of the eyes.

LACK OF POISE is expressed through nervousness in the presence of others, poor posture of, poor memory.

PERSONALITY can be associated with the inability to make decision, lack personal charm, and are unable to express their opinions.

INFERIORITY COMPLEX can be demonstrated by an individual who uses “big words” to impress others, and may even imitate others in dress, speech and manners. They may even create or inflate achievements to give them a feeling of superiority.

EXTRAVAGANCE is the habit of “keeping up with the Joneses,” even though it causes financial hardships.

LACK OF INITIATIVE can also be the lack of confidence in your own ideas, which leads to the failure to follow opportunities for self-advancement. Individuals may also fear to express opinions or give evasive answers to questions and be either hesitant or deceitful in both words and actions.

LACK OF AMBITION can be seen as mental and physical laziness, lack of self-assertion, or being easily influenced by others. They may also criticize others behind their backs and flatter them to their faces. These individuals may lack tactfulness of manner and speech and be unwillingness to accept the blame for their mistakes.

The fear of ILL HEALTH
The fear of ill health is clinically called hypochondria, people live in fear that they have or will get a serious illness. This type of person spends time preparing for sickness, talks about death, and saves money for burial expenses. Unfortunately, unethical people engage in the business of “selling health” or advertising remedies to ill health symptoms, which keeps this fear alive in some people.

Symptoms of the fear of ill health include,

AUTO-SUGGESTION is finding within themselves symptoms of all kinds of diseases to the extent that it appears they enjoy the imaginary illness and speak as if was real. Some individual’s may even experiment with diets, physical exercises and try home and “quack” remedies.

HYPOCHONDRIA is considered the habit of talking about illness and expecting its appearance. It is brought on by negative thinking and nothing but positive thought can cure hypochondria.

EXERCISE is viewed as dangerous and people avoid activities that may cause physical harm, which can result in excess weight.

SUSCEPTIBILITY to illness happens when this fear breaks down our body’s immune system and creates favorable conditions for diseases, which we fear.

SELF-CODDLING is a habit of making a bid for sympathy, using an imaginary illness due to laziness, or to serve as an alibi for lack of ambition.

INTEMPERANCE is the habit of using alcohol or narcotics to destroy pains such as headaches instead of eliminating the cause. This may also be the overuse of prescription medications, which causes over 100,000 deaths a year.

The fear of LOSS OF LOVE OF SOMEONE

The original source of this inherent fear grew out of man’s polygamous habit of stealing his friends mate, and his habit of taking liberties with her whenever he could.

This fear is the most painful of all the six basic fears. It probably plays more havoc with the body and mind than any of the other basic fears, and can be the ruin of many people.

Symptoms of the fear of loss of love of someone include,

JEALOUSY is the habit of being suspicious of friends and loved ones without any reasonable evidence of sufficient grounds. Jealous individuals accuse their spouse of infidelity without grounds and are generally suspicious of everyone.

FAULT FINDING is the habit of blaming friends, relatives, and loved ones upon the slightest provocation, or without any cause whatsoever.

GAMBLING is caused by someone who has the habit of spending beyond one’s means, or incurring debts, to provide gifts for loved ones with the belief that love can be bought.

The fear of OLD AGE

The fear of old age or clinically called, Gerascophobia, is derived from Greek ‘gerazo’ which is a phrase that means ‘I am getting old’ and phobia meaning dread or fear. This fear grows out of the possibility of ill health leading to the loss of freedom and independence, poverty, or having the instilled fear from religious beliefs of what comes after life, heaven or hell.

The commonest symptoms of the fear of old age is the tendency to slow down and develop an inferiority complex do to “being old.”

The other symptom is the habit of speaking apologetically of one’s self as “being old” instead of expressing gratitude for having reached the age of wisdom and understanding.

The worse habit of this fear is killing off initiative, imagination, and self-reliance by falsely believing you’re too old to do certain activities.

The fear of DEATH

The fear of death is clinically called thanatophobia and is distinguished from necrophobia, which is a specific fear of dead or dying persons and/or things, not one’s own death or dying.
To some this is the cruelest of all the basic fears due to their specific religious beliefs on what comes after death.

In the book Napoleon Hill criticizes religions for creating fear based on the belief that hell is where the devil burns you for eternity. The thought of eternal punishment, with fire, can often cause people to lose their reason to live life to the fullest and can make happiness impossible.

The general symptoms of this fear starts with the habit of thinking about dying instead of making the most of life, and having a lack of purpose, or suitable occupation. This fear is more prevalent among the aged.

The greatest of all remedies for the fear of death is a BURNING DESIRE FOR ACHIEVEMENT, and being of service to others. A busy person seldom has time to think about dying, they find life too thrilling to worry about death.

The big question is, do we attract what we fear?

Fortunately for us, fear is a state of mind. We can overcome our fears, if we believe we can. We control our thoughts so when you get a negative thought you need to reprogram your thinking to turn it into a positive thought.

Now I’m not saying we need to walk around and tell ourselves that everything is just fine, we need to face our adversities. But we need to face them knowing that we can overcome them, not consistently worry about them.

Napoleon Hill wraps up Think and Grow Rich by describing the “Seventh Basic Evil, The Devil’s Workshop.” The devil’s workshop lurks in the evils caused by something we all deal with, not only from others, but from within ourselves.

The evil of negative influences is the death of many dreams and if you fail to overcome this evil you’ll forfeit your right to achieve your desires. Negative influences come from the most unlikely places, our friends and relatives. If you believe in these negative influences you’ll develop a state of mind that will destroy your mental attitude. Once that happens you’re under the devil’s influence and will drift through life and never live your purpose.

In order to win the battle and defeat the devil you need to protect yourself against negative influences. This may include avoiding negative people who criticize instead of encourage you. Keep the negative influences out of your head so it won’t damage your subconscious mind.

Are you struggling with negative influences and accomplishing your goals? Answer the self-analysis test questions at the end of the chapter to see where you may need to improve in order to stop your alibis that may be deeply rooted in habits. Master your habits and gain possession of the Master Key that unlocks the door to Life’s bountiful riches.

“The first and best victory is to conquer self. To be conquered by self is, of all things, the most shameful and vile.”
~ Plato

Napoleon Hill in this chapter of Think and Grow Rich states that the sixth sense,

“… defies description but it probably is the medium of contact between the finite mind of man and Infinite Intelligence, making it a mixture of both mental and spiritual. The six sense is located in a portion of the subconscious mind and is referred to as ‘Creative Imagination.’”

The Six Sense is also considered as intuition which is defined as;

A natural ability or power that makes it possible to know something without any proof or evidence: a feeling that guides a person to act a certain way without fully understanding why.

The definition of intuition fits the way Napoleon Hill explains the six sense as “the ‘receiving set’ through which ideas, plans, and thoughts flash into the mind. The ‘flashes’ are sometimes called ‘hunches’ or ‘inspirations.’”

Although Mr. Hill points out that to fully understand the sixth sense, you need to master the other principles of the Think and Grow Rich philosophies and by meditation through mind development from within.

Napoleon’s six sense, or the method he used to tap into Infinite Intelligence was through his “Invisible Counselors.” Having interviewed and studied hundreds of successful people Napoleon had specific people he “Hero-worshipped” and added them as his Invisible Counselors. The nine men were; Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Paine, Thomas Edison, Charles Darwin, Abraham Lincoln, Luther Burbank, Napoleon Bonaparte, Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie. These nightly imaginary meetings that Mr. Hill had with his Invisible Counselors where to help him rebuild his character and to represent the composition of his Invisible Counselors.

Over time Mr. Hill’s nightly meetings became so realistic that his characters took on their own habits and personalities and eventually frightened Mr. Hill so much that he discontinued them. Eventually, as Mr. Hill states, Lincoln showed up at his bedside and told him;

“The world will soon need your services. It is about to undergo a period of chaos which will cause men and women to lose faith, and become panic stricken. Go ahead with your work and complete your philosophy. That is your mission in life. If you neglect it, for any cause whatsoever, you will be reduced to a primal state, and be compelled to retrace the cycles through which you have passed during thousands of years.”

Some people claim that they can see ghosts, but to actually see Abraham Lincoln and then get a specific message from him would make someone take notice or think they were absolutely crazy. After this event he started his nightly meetings again and was welcomed back into the fold with a toast made by Lincoln. He soon added more Invisible Counselors to total about 50 people ranging from Christ to Plato.

Napoleon Hill didn’t know how this six sense worked but he did believe it was caused by an organ located in the brain that could receive vibrations to tap into the Infinite Intelligence. This special organ also provides people with intuitions, insights and hunches. Thomas Edison used his six sense to develop his inventions, he listened to and followed through with his six senses.

Today the organ that some claim is responsible for the six sense if the pineal gland. The pineal gland is a small, rice-sized, pinecone-shaped endocrine organ that sits alone in the middle of the brain and at the same level as the eyes. The famous philosopher Descartes described the pineal gland as the “principal seat of the soul.” You’ve probably heard of this gland being the “third eye,” a mystical chakra point residing right in the middle of your eyebrows.

You would think that if we all have this organ why don’t we all have some type of “six sense?” Unfortunately most people’s pineal gland is calcified, mainly from fluoride. Fluoride accumulates in the pineal gland more than any other organ and as your pineal gland hardens, less melatonin is produced and regulation of your wake-sleep cycle gets disturbed. In addition to fluoride, halides like chlorine and bromine also accumulate and damage the pineal gland. Calcium supplements can also cause problems. Without enough vitamin D calcium does not become bioavailable and calcifies human tissue, including the pineal gland.

So how do we reawaken our six sense? Do we want to awaken our own six sense? Are individuals “six sense” their special gift? There are a number of reality television shows that focus on individuals six sense. Some people receive messages from individuals who are either alive or dead like Mr. Hill, some claim to be able to communicate with past relatives for other people and some can even see the future.

What if your six sense is seeing dead people like the little boy Cole Sear in the 1999 Bruce Willis movie “The Sixth Sense.” Would you want to be able to see dead people? I don’t know, I think I may pass, especially seeing demons, unless it comes with the ability to see angels like Doreen Virtue does.

When anything is unexplainable people try to figure out what’s really going on scientifically. One reason why some people may have a heightened sense of perception, or sixth sense, is that they may be able to use their sense of smell better. Harvard researchers have studied the human olfactory bulb which receives signals from odor sensors in the nose? One question is; Do humans have a working sixth sense and do invisible chemicals still affect our behavior on an unconscious level? Research has shown that pheromones can be used to enhance mood and sexual attractiveness at a subconscious level.

Being the complex workings of the mind, no one knows what the true capabilities that the mind has. Is the Star Wars “Jedi mind control” possible? Some spiritual masters say yes, because they’ve seen it done or can do it themselves.

Lolly Daskal wrote in her article, “Change: The Sixth Sense,” that your sixth sense is emotions. Your emotions are triggered by one or many of the other five senses, sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. A leader’s ability to understand and read emotions and how they affect other people is essential. No one likes to work for an emotional leader. A rare leader is one that can not only control their own emotions but knows how to influence other people’s emotions, especially when implementing change.

So what is your sixth sense ability? I think everyone has some sort of ability, it was probably suppressed as we were growing up. Maybe those monsters in the closet where real!

What is the real gift that the Grand Overall Designer gave you, what is your sixth sense?

 

References;

Everything You Wanted to Know about the Pineal Gland: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-the-pineal-gland/

Third Eye – Pineal Gland: http://www.crystalinks.com/thirdeyepineal.html

Doreen Virtue: http://www.angeltherapy.com/

Your Sixth Sense: https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201207/your-sixth-sense

Sixth sense – Testing and Training: http://www.spiritualresearchfoundation.org/spiritual-research/sixth-sense/how-to-test-your-sixth-sense/

Scientists Find Evidence for A Sixth Sense in Humans: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/1999/05.20/sixth.sense.html

The Brain
A Broadcasting and Receiving Station for Thought
The Twelfth Step Toward Riches

The brain is one of the last frontiers, it’s a universe in its own right and has more neuron connections than visible stars in the sky, yet strangely enough, less than our guts. We can all agree that the brain is an important organ that we need to protect because it’s important to our health and success, but why do we tend to abuse it so much.

“WHAT, I don’t abuse my brain!” you exclaim, but unfortunately we don’t even know what may be causing harm to our brains. There are over 14,000 man-made chemicals added to our food supply in the United States alone, and we are still unsure how it all affects our brains.

Besides the obvious causes of brain damage that include blows to the head, illegal and legal substance abuse, we need to think about the food we’re consuming that we believe to be safe. Recently over the holidays I overconsumed sweets to not only include a dozen or so miniature candy bars but also cookies and whatever else had sugar in it. Needless to say my blood sugar spiked and the following day I crashed. I thought I had a hangover but I don’t drink alcohol, so I thought what else could’ve caused me to feel like this, and it lead to sugar. My sweet tooth has been a problem for me for as long as I can remember and I’ve consciously avoided high fructose corn syrup in 2015, except for the holidays.

One of the top things we should always be concerned about is what we’re putting into our gas tank. We wouldn’t pour a cup of sugar into our cars gas tank, so why do we pour sugar into our body’s gas tank? Carolyn Gregoire in the Huffington Post article This is What Sugar Does to Your Brain, states that sugar can wreak havoc on your brain. If you’ve ever consumed more sugary foods then normal you may have experienced a sugar crash due to blood sugar levels peaking and then dropping. High blood sugar levels have been linked to brain inflammation and can impair memory and learning skills along with a possible link to depression and anxiety. High blood sugars also affect the production of insulin, which is needed to help strengthen synaptic connections between brain cells to help them communicate better.

We’ve all had those days when we just can’t seem to concentrate. And while there’s no magic pill to bring us back to the height of our cognitive powers, there are some foods that have been shown to improve brain function, protect against age-associated cognitive decline and encourage focus and clarity.  The article titled 12 Superfoods To Boost Your Brainpower, lists the top brain foods as;

  • Walnuts which have heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory nutrients which helps promote blood flow, which in turn allows for efficient delivery of oxygen to the brain.
  • Olive Oil is a great source of monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to actually slow brain aging.
  • Berries, especially blueberries and strawberries, were linked to a slower mental decline in areas like memory and focus.
  • Sardines and other fatty fish like salmon containing omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA are a well-known brain booster to improve focus and memory, and may lower the risk of dementia.
  • Coffee and other beverages containing caffeine, improves mental acuity. Coffee’s antioxidant richness helps maintain brain health and can actually stave off depression in women.
  • Spinach is rich in the antioxidant lutein, which is thought to help protect against cognitive decline.
  • Dark chocolate is healthy due to being rich in flavonoids, a class of antioxidant that helps to improve blood flow (and thus brain health) by regulating cholesterol and lowering blood pressure.
  • Avocados are full of monounsaturated fats that improve vascular health and blood flow.
  • Water is essential to stay hydrated, if you become dehydrated your brain tissue actually shrinks, impairing short-term memory, focus and decision making.
  • Wheat Germ is a rich vegetarian source of choline to produce the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which boosts memory. Eggs are another good choline source.
  • Beets are a good source of naturally-occurring nitrates, which help improve blood flow to the brain (and guys, it increases blood flow to other parts of the body).
  • Garlic may help stave off some forms of brain cancer. Investigators found that the organo-sulfur compounds in garlic actually worked to kill glioblastoma cells – a type of malignant tumor cell.

Meditation is another way we can keep our brain healthy and is linked to increased productivity and happiness. Forbes magazine published the article 7 Ways Meditation Can Actually Change The Brain which lists some of the benefits of meditation;

  • Meditation Helps Preserve the Aging Brain – People who’d been meditating for an average of 20 years had more grey matter volume throughout the brain.
  • Meditation Reduces Activity in the Brain’s “Me Center” -Mindfulness meditation decreases activity in the default mode network (DMN), the brain network responsible for mind-wandering and self-referential thoughts – a.k.a., “monkey mind.”
  • Its Effects Rival Antidepressants for Depression, Anxiety – Meditation is an active training of the mind to increase awareness and studies show that it may reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain.
  • Meditation May Lead to Volume Changes in Key Areas of the Brain – Eight weeks of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was found to increase cortical thickness in the hippocampus, which governs learning and memory, and in areas that play roles in emotion regulation and self-referential processing.
  • Improves Concentration and Attention – Just a couple of weeks of meditation training helped people’s focus and memory and raised their verbal reasoning section of the GRE scores by 16 percentile points.
  • Reduces Anxiety — and Social Anxiety – Research has also shown that mindfulness meditation, in contrast to attending to the breath only, can reduce anxiety and has also been shown to help people with social anxiety disorder.
  • Helps with Addiction – A growing number of studies has shown that meditation can be very effective in helping people recover from various types of addiction.
  • Short Meditation Breaks Can Help Kids in School – One district in San Francisco started a twice daily meditation program in some of its high-risk schools – and saw suspensions decrease, and GPAs and attendance increase.

Some products claim to be able to speed up the benefits of meditation through technology. One of the companies is Centerpointe which uses a sophisticated form of audio technology called holosync. Holosync increases synchronous neuro-electrical activity between the two hemispheres of the brain, and drives the nervous system to higher levels of functioning over time and improves learning ability, creativity, problem-solving, focus and concentration, memory, and intuition.

A different product for the more serious brain hackers is The BrainStimulator and uses Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) which is a form of neurostimulation (also known as neuromodulation). It was originally developed to help patients with brain injuries such as strokes, however tests on healthy adults demonstrated that tDCS can increase cognitive performance on a variety of tasks, depending on the area of the brain being stimulated. Scientific studies have shown that tDCS has the ability to enhance language and mathematical ability, attention span, problem solving, memory, and coordination. In addition, tDCS has also been documented as having impressive potential to treat depression, anxiety, PTSD, as well as chronic pain.

We can slowly reduce the ability for our brains to operate efficiently by not being aware of what we are consuming, not only through food but other environmental factors like electromagnetic fields (EMF). The article, Zapped: EMF Exposure and Your Brain states that EMFs are produced by electricity flowing through power lines, home wiring, appliances, mobile phones, and other electrical devices. You would expect your microwave, cell phone, and WiFi to be high EMF producers, but so are your fridge, hair dryer, vacuum cleaner, and blender.

EMFs create free radicals — unattached oxygen molecules that attack your cells much in the same way that oxygen causes metal to rust. Your brain uses a lot of oxygen which is why it’s very susceptible to free radical damage. Here are some of the results to the brain due to EMF exposure;

  • EMFs produce free radicals which can kill cells and even cause DNA damage.
  • EMFs have been shown to break the brain-blood barrier, allowing toxins and chemicals to enter the brain and seriously affect brain function.
  • Proteins are integral to brain cell structure and neurotransmitter formation and over 140 proteins in the brain are negatively impacted by EMF exposure. Neurotransmitters enable your brain cells to communicate with each other.
  • There may be a direct link between the electromagnetic fields created by power lines and all types of dementia including Alzheimer’s.
  • Cell phones are bad for adults but are much worse for children. Dr. Ronald B. Herberman testified before Congress that the rate of absorption is higher in children than adults because their brain tissues are more absorbent, their skulls are thinner, and their relative size is smaller. Shockingly, EMFs nearly went straight through the brain of a 5 year old and some experts believe there is a link between cell phone use by kids and ADD and ADHD.

There is a number of skeptics as to the affects EMF’s have on not only the brain but the whole body. As a precautionary measure limit your EMF exposures by taking action on a few common sense precautions;

  • Keep your phone as far away as you can when it’s turned on.
  • Turn it off when you can.
  • Invest in a mobile phone radiation protector.
  • Don’t sleep with your phone on and next to your head.
  • Keep computers and TVs out of the bedroom or shut off the power to them before sleeping.
  • Place your alarm clock three feet from your head and don’t use an electric blanket.

The brain is the one body organ that controls all of the other body organs, we all agree that without a healthy brain we are going to be unhealthy. Unfortunately some people take their brain for granted and consistently damage it, which could eventually lead to a life of illness and misery. It’s time to think about how you’re damaging your brain and what will be the ultimate outcome of the abuse.

Don’t let your comfortable habits today lead to an uncomfortable life tomorrow.

What daily habit can you implement today to better take care of your brain?

You never can tell what a thought will do
In bringing you hate or love –
For thoughts are things, and their airy wings
Are swifter than carrier doves.
They follow the law of the universe –
Each thing creates its kind,
And they speed O’er the track to bring you back
Whatever went out from your mind.

The true understanding of success starts with understanding the power of the subconscious mind. This is what separates the successful from the unsuccessful person.

One person believes they can be successful and the other person believes they can’t be successful.

WHAT!!!!!!

Why would someone think that they can’t be successful? They may want to be successful, they may complain about why they’re not successful and usually have a number of reasons why they’re not.

I think we can agree that we want to be successful, but if we struggle to find that success, what’s the roadblock?

WE ARE.

WHAT!!!!

Come on now, how can I be a roadblock to the success I want. Usually, it’s because of what we think. Sure we tell people we want to be successful but we secretly tell ourselves negative thoughts like;

I’ll start doing that tomorrow.
I just can’t work out in the morning.
No one will like me if I do that.
It takes to much money.
I’m not smart enough for that job or promotion.
I’ll always be overweight.
I’ve never been able to stop smoking.
I can’t leave my job to follow my passion.
I DON’T DESERVE TO BE SUCCESSFUL!

These negative thoughts program our subconscious to do what we think. It’s unfortunate that at times these thoughts originate in someone else’s mind and they tell us and in turn, we believe them.

If you believe you can achieve something you will. I know it’s not that easy. Real success is a struggle and you’ll run into obstacles along the way to test your willpower. We know that finding success isn’t easy, and even when you do find it it’s hard to keep.

Let’s put this in a new perspective. I’m sure we’ve all seen the movie or read the story about Aladdin and the Lamp. If you rub the lamp a genie comes out and gives you three wishes. But you need to be careful on how you word that wish because you may get something you say but not mean.

Our subconscious is like that Genie. We first need to find the lamp within our own self and learn how to shine it up. We need to learn how to believe that we can do something we want. Take the negative words out of your thoughts. If you tell yourself you can’t your internal genie is just following orders and is going to give you what you believe.

If you ask someone who has achieved success why they did what they did, I doubt they’ll say, “Because I didn’t think I could.” They may think that it’ll be hard, other people probably told them they couldn’t, but they truly believed that they could accomplish it.

No one thought that a person could run a mile under four minutes until someone did. The paradigm was broken and more people did after that.

A speaker and writer who explains how our paradigms shape us is Bob Proctor and you can watch his video on The Power of Your Subconscious. In Bob’s new book The ABC’s of Success he has a quote in the chapter titled “The Silent Switch” that helps us understand the power we have within us,“Thought is the silent switch that sets in motion man’s destiny.”Basically, we become what we think, just like James Allen laid out in his 1903 classic As a Man Thinketh and said;

Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills: –
He thinks in secret and it comes to pass:
Environment is but his looking-glass.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to read this short classic I encourage everyone to pick up a copy and for the female readers you can get a different version, As a Woman Thinketh.

Maxwell Malts in his book Psycho-Cybernetics outlines the research he did on the power of the subconscious mind and how it affects your self-image and confidence. He explains the two principles of the subconscious mind. The first one is that the subconscious mind always says “yes” to everything the conscious mind tells it. The second principle states that the subconscious mind always moves in the direction in which the conscious mind points it. Basically what he’s telling us is;

If we think negative thoughts our subconscious is going to give us those negative outcomes. But if we think of positive thoughts, and act on them, we can have a better chance on positive outcomes.

Meditation is another form of tapping into the power of our subconscious mind. I like Amanda Palmer’s quote – “Meditation, especially for people who don’t know very much about it and think it’s this very hippy dippy thing, can really be powerful, terrifying even, as it lifts the rug up on your subconscious and the dust comes flying out.”

Some of us may think more logically and believe all this subconscious stuff is just mystical thinking, think and you shall receive is just wishful thinking, right? But there’s years of research into the value of positive thinking and praying.

“If the Holy Spirit can take over the subconscious with our consent and cooperation, then we have almighty Power working at the basis of our lives, then we can do anything we ought to do, go anywhere we ought to go, and be anything we ought to be.”
~ E. Stanley Jones

Yes praying. This is where science and beliefs intersect. In Dr. Joseph Murphy’s book “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” he claims that praying will activate the subconscious mind. Most people roaming the earth believe in their own version of G.O.D. (Grand Overall Designer) and pray to the belief that we’ll have a good afterlife. In other words, we’ll be accepted into the kingdom after we leave this physical presence we know as being human. Different beliefs, or religions have their own version of the afterlife, or more commonly known as Heaven in Christianity. We definitely don’t want to go to hell so we try to follow some basic traditions to get us into our version of heaven. Unfortunately for some religions that may be causing harm to people with other beliefs, today viewed as terrorism, in the past known as Crusades.

My question is, why can’t we live our version of Heaven now, why should I focus my prayers on achieving passage through the pearly gates leading to my version of Heaven. We need to BELIEVE that we can achieve our version of Heaven or success now, not after we’re dead.

But here’s where I think the real secret is revealed.

Most of us focus too much on ourselves, our own success to get what we want. We may think “It’s a struggle to achieve success through helping others achieve success, I want it first.”

But as one of our greatest mentors Zig Ziglar said, “If you help enough people get what they want, they’ll help you get what you want.”

The key to living your Heaven on Earth isn’t finding your own success through the expense of others but helping them achieve success so you can achieve significance, through other people’s successes.

Take some time TODAY to think about and write how your desires and passion can help others achieve success. You’ll experience negative thoughts going through this process on why you can’t so reword those thoughts into prayers or positive affirmations on how you can. If you focus and pray on the why and how you’ll awaken your internal Genie or Grand Overall Designer who has the power to help you achieve your vision of success through others by programming your subconscious to give you what you need.

In chapter eleven of Think and Grow Rich Napoleon Hill goes into explaining a subject that catches some of us off guard, and I’m sure it really did when he published this book in 1937, Sex Transmutation.

But when you think of the concept, it makes sense. Some individuals spend enormous time and energy into achieving that goal, sex. If that individual used that time and energy pursuing a different goal it would propel their success.

Now there must be something to this concept of capturing this sexual energy and using it to pursue our desires beyond the physical ones. With Mr. Hill interviewing hundreds of the most successful people in the world during his time, he uncovered this secret of success. But is it really a secret?

In 1726, at the age of twenty Benjamin Franklin created a system he called his 13 virtues to develop his character. The twelfth virtue was chastity in which he wrote, “Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.”

I can think of a number of individuals that have been in main stream media which should’ve practiced this virtue.

Both Ben and Napoleon’s thoughts on this subject are in line. Napoleon states that the emotions of sex has three constructive potentials:

  1. The perpetuation of mankind.
  2. The maintenance of health (as a therapeutic agency, it has no equal).
  3. The transformation of mediocrity into genius through transmission.

If individuals focused on the third point Mr. Hill makes, they wouldn’t have faced the outcome Mr. Franklin says to avoid, “the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.”

Is this one of the reasons why the Catholic religion requires its priests to remain celibate? So that they can use that sexual energy toward fulfilling their purpose to God? In the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 7:32-34, the Apostle Paul wrote about this basic concern that to be married is to be distracted from the spiritual;

“The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband.”

The abstinence tradition also goes back to ancient Chinese and Buddhist traditions. In Daniel Reid’s book The Complete Book of Chinese Health and Healing, he states that the Taoist and Tantric Buddhist’s viewed sex as sacred and women revered as the source of all life on earth. Sexual essence and energy is used as a potent tool for progress on the spiritual path. Since they viewed sex as a sacred activity, some didn’t practice abstinence in that they didn’t only apply sexual energy to spiritual practice but the spiritual insight to sexual activity, enhancing them both.

Mr. Reid’s book also contains a section that outlines specific ‘sexercises’ to boost your sexual essence and how to convert it into energy. Once this sexual essence is converted into energy it can be converted into spiritual energy and raised up through your body to not only cleanse and energize your marrow, fluids, and nerves of the spine, but to transform that energy into pure spiritual vitality.

This topic of abstinence has also been researched for athletes to achieve ultimate performance. In the article Sex and Sports: Should Athletes Abstain Before Big Events? National Geographic News reported in 2006 that during the Winter Olympics many of the athletes where strictly avoiding sex. Some athletes think that sex before competition zaps energy. Muhammad Ali, for one, reportedly wouldn’t make love for six weeks before a fight. Research found that sex in fact stimulates the production of testosterone, thus boosting aggression, which would benefit sports that requires more aggression.  So why would some find benefit in abstinence?

If we go back to the book Think and Grow Rich, Mr. Hill states that sexual over-indulgence may not only destroy reason and will-power, but it may also lead to either temporary or permanent insanity. Now don’t get me wrong, Mr. Hill was not preaching abstinence, he saw the power that sexual energy had, that’s why he says you need to transmute that into a positive energy by balancing that energy with Love.

When you combine the emotions of sex and love together, most people are capable of great achievement, as long as they have a supporting partner. Let me ask you a question, even with just the emotion of the love we have for another person, will we drive ourselves to please that person? If that person we love doesn’t support or even discourages you, you’ll struggle to succeed because you won’t feel pushed to the next level. Unlike that person who gives you loving support, you’ll do what you can to please them.

Mr. Hill goes on to explain that in order to reach super achievement you need a third element, romance. Once you combine the emotions of sex, love and romance together you’ll be on the road to genius.

So let’s go ahead and bring these three emotions together:

Sexual Emotion – Sex is biological and sex alone, is a mighty urge to action, but its forces are like a cyclone – they are uncontrollable. Over indulgence may be a sign of a lack of will power which can affect other areas of your life.

 Love Emotion – Love alone in a marriage will not bring happiness, nor will sex alone. The emotion of love brings out and develops our artistic and aesthetic nature. Love is life’s greatest experience and can bring one with communion with Infinite Intelligence.

Romance Emotion – When you combine the emotions of sex and love with romance the obstructions between the finite mind of man and Infinite Intelligence are removed, then the genius is born. Not only is the energy level in your relationship higher but the level of your success should be higher.

This information is beneficial to both men and women, relationships are built on blending all three of these emotions in a healthy way. If you form a triangle with these three emotions and then removed one, it would be incomplete. Like the classic fire triangle, it requires Heat (Sex), Oxygen (Love), combined with Fuel (Romance), to create fire or a higher energy level.

To achieve our ultimate desire we need to learn how to convert that energy into positive action that adds value to others.

I think it comes down to what is best for the individual and what they believe in, and like everything else it’s all in moderation, too much of anything can damaging.

One way to increase your love and romance emotions is to check out John’s new book on Intentional Living and learn how you can add value to those closest to you.