The I-T-I-A Formula

I-T-I-A stands for:

Intention

Thought

Imagination

Action

The I-T-I-A Formula takes into account everything known about how mind processes information and brings about change. But you must do all four; otherwise the effects won’t be permanent.

Intention

Personal change starts with a decision – to learn a new skill, to develop a new personal quality and so on. For example, you could decide that from now on you’re always going to treat yourself with love and respect and behave confidently. It’s as simple as that.

Ask yourself:

What do you want out of life?

  • What kind of person would you like to be?
  • What changes would you like to make?
  • What are your goals? Are you prepared to commit to them?

Remember, the clearer your goals and the stronger your intentions, the more likely they are to be realised.

Thought

Step back and observe your self-talk (your thoughts). Are they generally positive or negative? What questions do you ask yourself? What are you trying to achieve by thinking that way?

Examine your attitudes and beliefs. Are they true? Do they serve you well? Where have they brought you so far?

The more positive your thinking, the happier you are and the more likely to succeed at whatever you set your mind to.

Imagination

Learn to use your creative imagination and intuition. They are the key to a successful future.

Imagine achieving your goals. What will they look like when brought to fruition? What will they sound like? Feel like? Do this often, especially when you are physically and mentally relaxed.

The imagination is the fast track to your unconscious mind. You can imprint your desires – and the belief that they will be met – on your unconscious using your imaginative faculties.

Action

Take small steps in the right direction – towards your goals – every day. You may feel uncomfortable, but ignore your discomfort, feel the fear and do it anyway.

Monitor your progress and make adjustments if necessary. Do more of what works and stop doing what doesn’t. Change never feels right, but when you act ‘as if’, eventually the uncomfortable feelings fade.

Keep going until success becomes a habit – every step reinforces your progress. And don’t be put off by others.

The process is a little like the old domino trick where the performer pushes over one domino and all the others fall over in sequence. Every change you make influences the next step, which in turn affects the step after that, and so on. The important thing is to begin. Go on – push over that first domino now. Promise yourself that you’ll give it your best and never give up!

©David Lawrence Preston, 2018

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Can We Really Think And Grow Rich?

In the Victorian era success was believed to be about hard work, serious effort, application and persistence, and maybe a slice of privilege or good luck.

Later Deepak Chopra and other ‘New Age writers taught that by raising our consciousness we achieve everything while doing nothing, and it doesn’t matter what our background.

Somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, writing in the 1930s, laid one of America’s most influential and barely recognised authors, Dr Napolean Hill.

I first came across his seminal work, Think and Grow Rich, in the late 80s. At that time I taught in the business department of a university. One day, the secretary of the students’ association invited me to attend a talk given by a former professional footballer who had gone on to make a fortune in the insurance industry. The subject was Think and Grow Rich.  At first, I wasn’t attracted to what I thought (wrongly) was just another book preaching ‘greed is good’. Remember, in this was the Thatcher era. Government ministers showed little empathy for the poorest in society, and every week on TV Harry Enfield’s comic character ‘Loadsamoney’ could be heard mocking the lowly paid as traditional industries collapsed around them.

But I attended. An hour and a half later I was convinced that this was exactly what we should be teaching our students. This was the missing link between academic and vocational success and in many ways the key to happiness at all levels.

Napolean Hill was just starting out on his career in journalism when he met the industrialist Andrew Carnegie, at that time reputedly the world’s richest man. Carnegie, a Scot, had arrived in the USA penniless. He was convinced that the formula for success could be identified and expressed in simple terms that anyone could apply. They made a deal. Carnegie would introduce the young journalist to five hundred of America’s most financially successful men. Hill would interview them and publish his findings. No money would change hands since Carnegie reasoned that once Dr Hill had completed his task, he would need no payment from him.

TAGR was first published in 1937. It was an immediate success. The first five thousand copies quickly sold out despite there being no advertising. Another ten thousand copies were printed, then another twenty thousand, and all sold out within a few weeks. To date, more than fifteen million copies have been sold.

What is the formula that Dr Hill so eloquently articulated? It is based on two sets of ideas – The Six Steps to Riches and the Thirteen Step Programme to Wealth and Success.

Here are the Six Steps:

  • Fix in your mind precisely what you want. ‘Know what you want’, wrote Dr Hill, ‘and you’ll generally get it.’
  •  Determine what you intend to give in exchange. You have to give before you can get, and nothing comes for free.
  •  Establish a definite date by which you intend to have it.
  •  Make a plan and start right away. If the plan isn’t working, amend it, but never give up.
  •  Write a statement of intention on a small card and place it where you can see it. This keeps your goal permanently etched in your mind.
  •  Read the statement several times a day. Let your subconscious mind absorb it.

These Six Steps are complemented by thirteen action points and principles:

  • Desire is ‘the starting point of all achievement, and the first step to riches.’ Dr Hill wrote, ‘All success starts with selecting a definite purpose, the desire to achieve it, and commitment to it.’
  • Faith: ‘a state of mind which may be induced or created by affirmation or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind through the principle of autosuggestion.’ ‘There are no limitations other than those we impose on ourselves,’ wrote Dr Hill, ‘because both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought.’
  •  Auto-suggestion: self-administered suggestion in the form of affirmations to be used morning and night and frequently in between.
  •  Specialised knowledge: Contrary to the well-known maxim, knowledge is not power, but potential power. It only becomes power when it is organised into plans of action and directed to a definite end
  •  Imagination: Everything starts out as an idea waiting to be brought into expression. Imagination may be cultivated through relaxed visualisation, which also strengthens belief in attainment.
  •  Organised planning is the crystallisation of desire into action. To be sure of success, argued Dr Hill, you must have plans that are faultless. You also need a Plan B (and a Plan C and maybe D).
  •  Decision: Lack of decision is a major cause of failure. It causes procrastination, ‘a common enemy which practically all must conquer.’
  •  Persistence: Dr Hill had much to say on this subject. ‘Persistence is to the character of man what carbon is to steel,’ he wrote. ‘No man is ever whipped until he quits in his own mind.’  And ‘every adversity, every failure and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or a greater benefit.’
  •  The Master Mind: No individual has sufficient knowledge and experience to succeed massively without the cooperation of other people. The Mastermind is the harmonious coordination of knowledge and effort between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.
  •  Sex Transmutation: Sex energy is the creative energy of all geniuses, but it must be channelled into constructive activity.  This means the switching of the mind from thoughts of physical expression to thoughts of some other nature.
  •  The Subconscious Mind:  Dr Hill wrote that the subconscious is ‘a field of consciousness in which every impulse of thought is classified and recorded and from which thoughts may be withdrawn as letters may be taken from a filing cabinet’. It receives and files impressions or thoughts, and draws upon the forces of Infinite Intelligence for its power.
  •  The Brain: Every brain is capable of picking up vibrations of thought being released by other brains. ‘Our brains become magnetised with the dominating thoughts which we hold in our minds,’ and ‘the circumstances of life harmonise with the nature of our dominant thoughts.’ Dr Hill was teaching the ‘Law of Attraction’ long before it entered the popular imagination.
  •  The Sixth Sense (or intuition) can be understood and assimilated only by mastering the other twelve principles.  This is the receiving mechanism by which ideas, plans and thoughts flash into the mind, and the medium of contact between the finite mind of the human being and the Infinite Intelligence.

So what made Think and Grow Rich the runaway success that it became? Well obviously it offered hope at a time of great economic hardship and was based on thorough research and experience. ‘Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve,’ became his most famous phrase. Since we all have the ability to desire, to think, to imagine, our destiny is in our own hands. Moreover, since the Infinite Intelligence does not play favourites, riches are within everyone’s reach.

But there’s more. Far from being a mere formula, it is a profound work of practical and spiritual philosophy. Hill believed there were universal forces beyond our intellectual understanding and identified the blockages that prevent most of us rising above the daily grind, most of which exist only in our limiting thoughts and imagination. He drew on ancient wisdom, that we accomplish nothing without the Power (or ‘Infinite Intelligence’) that works within us. And he gave us tools that anyone able to think and act for themselves could use.

There’s little doubt that virtually every Western success coach and motivational speaker owes Dr Napolean Hill a huge debt without necessarily acknowledging his influence. Most of the self-help books that I have read merely regurgitate his ideas using modern, NLP-influenced terminology and up to date examples. Many of today’s motivational gurus are slick, polished performers well versed in the persuasive arts (take a look at the YouTube clips of Napolean Hill and you’ll see he was none of these things), but scratch beneath the surface and you soon discover that they add little to Dr Hill’s original work.

But here’s the rub. On the surface, TAGR appears to be about financial success, but look a little deeper and you realise it’s much more. ‘Riches’ do not just consist of money – they are anything just and worthwhile that your heart desires. Dr Hill said so himself.  Health, happiness, friendship, peace of mind, love… all are ‘riches’, subject to the same principles of acquisition.

Can we think and grow rich? Certainly. And as Dr Hill concluded, ‘when riches begin to come, they come so quickly and in such great abundance, that you will wonder where they have been hiding during all those lean years!’

 

© David Lawrence Preston, 22.2.2018

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The Firewalk – Creative Imagery in Action

The most convincing demonstration of creative imagery for me took place a few years ago. About three dozen of us gathered in a field in Somerset one cool April evening. A five metre lane of burning hot embers was prepared, and one by one we tentatively stepped onto the fire, muttering ‘cool wet moss’ and imagining the glowing embers as crunchy popcorn.

The only preparation we’d had was an hour and a half visualising that we could do it, affirming ‘I am cool and calm’, ‘I am powerful’ and ‘I walk through fear’, imagining the soft, pleasant coolness beneath our feet.

Firewalk

The fire walk is a convincing demonstration of mind over matter. There is no logical explanation, but it’s been done by millions of people all over the world, people just like you and I, every one a testament to the power of creative imagery, autosuggestion and affirmations.

Creative imagery is powerful. Creative imagery works. What you visualise today can become your reality in the future, so make sure you only visualise what you desire for yourself and your loved ones.

Try this:

Pick something you know well – a close friend, your house, car, a favourite scene etc. Close your eyes and visualise it. If you can’t visualize the whole thing, pick a part of it such as their face, a tree or the front door. Play with the image. Make it bigger, smaller, brighter, dimmer? Can you make it more colourful, hazier, clearer? Touch it – how does it feel? Add movement, for instance, walk round the house and see it from a different angle, get in the car and go for a spin. Practise until the image becomes stronger, more animated.

 

If you are a newcomer to creative imagery, be patient. Not everyone can conjure up crystal clear pictures in full colour. Most of us find it difficult at first and all can improve.

If you’ve tried it for a while and are still finding it difficult, it could be because you’re just not naturally a visual person. People process information in many different ways. Some are visual – they primarily use pictures; others are auditory, which means they function better through sound. A kinesthetic person experiences the world primarily through feeling and touch. Which are you?

If you’re auditory, try to ‘hear’ sounds you associate with your chosen outcome. If kinesthetic, ‘sense’ or ‘feel’ the result you want. This makes use of the way in which your brain functions. Whatever you’re most comfortable with is absolutely right for you.

If nothing seems to happen, don’t give up. Perhaps you are trying too hard or have allowed doubts to creep in. Or maybe something better awaits you. Your intuitive Superconscious mind may be trying to direct you onto a different course. Keep an open mind. You’re harnessing powerful energies, so don’t misuse them.

©David Lawrence Preston, 9.10.2017

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The art of relating – eight principles

‘It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.’

Alfred Adler

Human beings are interdependent. We need fulfilling relationships. We need others to turn to. Relationships are also the key to success in most areas of achievement, including business.

Research among senior managers has demonstrated:

  • The most important factor in career success is not knowledge, nor technical skills, but the ability to work with a wide variety of people – colleagues, clients, suppliers and customers.
  • The most important things they had to learn to perform their role were how to be firm yet tolerant of others, how to understand others and listen to them and how to motivate others and enthuse them.
  • The ability and willingness to support others is a characteristic of good managers. And people work harder for you when they like you.
  • Assertion and empathy are the most difficult aspects of management to learn.
  • Arrogance, deceitfulness, a patronising attitude, avoidance of inter-personal contact and lack of human warmth in managers disillusion and demotivate employees.

The ability to relate to others is a prerequisite of happiness and success, and an essential aspect of life enrichment.

Here are eight principles that apply to all relationships – with yourself, your partner or spouse, your children, friends and work colleagues and the world around you.

  1. Understand that every relationship involves a mutual fulfilling of needs
  1. Accept responsibility for your relationships
  1. Have a positive attitude to others
  1. Realise that your thoughts and feelings project
  1. Relate to others on an emotional level
  1. Develop your listening and communication skills
  1. Accept others as they are
  1. The more you work on yourself, the better your relationships.

The better these principles are understood and applied, the better your relationships!

 

© David Lawrence Preston, 31.7.2016

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How to Books, 2004

Why goal setting is so powerful

There’s a wonderful sequence in Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Alice is lost in the woods when she encounters the Cheshire Cat looking down on her from the branch of a tree:

‘Cheshire Puss,’ Alice began rather timidly, ‘would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?’

‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the cat.

‘I don’t much care where…’ said Alice.

‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the cat.

‘… so long as I get somewhere,’ Alice added by way of explanation.

‘Oh you’re sure to do that,’ said the cat, ‘if you only walk long enough.’

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Lewis Carroll was pointing out that there’s nothing more important than finding a sense of purpose and sense of direction. Yet numerous surveys have revealed that only 2-3% of the population have clearly defined goals. 12-15% have a hazy idea of what they want (most of them work for the 2-3%, helping them to achieve their goals). The remaining 80%+ haven’t even thought about it.

But you already set goals? When you wake up, you set yourself the goal of washing, dressing and having breakfast. You may have a goal to get to work on time. Each of these comprises many sub-goals, such as starting the car or arriving at the stop before your bus. Some of these goals are your own; others are set for you, by your boss, for example.

Let’s examine in detail why setting goals can make such a difference:

  • Unless you feel a need of some sort, you have no reason to do anything. Goals identify and strengthen that need. Satisfied needs don’t motivate, but attainable and challenging goals certainly do.
  • Setting goals clarifies and affirms your intentions.
  • The unconscious houses a sophisticated guidance system, like an autopilot, which constantly seeks out whatever you consistently focus your attention on. Goals are simply present-day thoughts and mental images of desired future events. If you set the ‘co-ordinates’, your autopilot guides you towards where you want to go. But if you fail to select a destination, it takes you round in circles like a missile that has been fired without a target until you run out of energy or self-destruct. The unconscious doesn’t ask questions, it won’t reason with you, or query your demands. It simply does as it’s told.
  • Many people think they’ll get a lot done if they keep busy. But ‘being busy’ is only the same as productive activity if your actions are goal-directed. Imagine a marathon runner heading off in the wrong direction: he’d cover the same distance at and expend as much effort as the other competitors, but would have no chance of winning.
  • Discipline and self-mastery are two of the most noted qualities of successful people. The daily habit of reading through your list of goals improves your chances of success.
  • You discover reserves of mental energy, creativity and imagination you probably didn’t know you had.
  • You feel that you’re in charge of your own destiny.

The goal-setting technique should be taught to all children in school. Why aren’t they taught the power of goals already? Why do so few parents set a good example?

The first reason is that most adults don’t know how to set and achieve goals. They were never taught in their younger days.

The second reason is disempowering childhood programming and conditioning which often results in negative thinking lack of confidence.

A third reason is that people are often scared of what others think. They worry about looking ridiculous if they fail. However, these ‘friends’ whose opinions they value may be unwilling to take risks themselves and feel threatened by successful people.

Most people spend more time updating their Christmas lists than thinking seriously about their future. How about you?

 

©David Lawrence Preston, 27.7.2016

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How to Books, 2010

Faith and the ‘As If’ Principle

‘Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’

 Paul of Tarsus

Faith has nothing to do with blindly accepting someone else’s religious beliefs. It is simply trusting the process of life as expressed in the great spiritual laws such as the Laws of Cause and Effect, Attraction, Forgiveness and Nonresistance. If you lay down the right causes, the right effects will follow. This not only the foundation stone of lasting peace of mind, but also an essential prerequisite for success. If you don’t have faith in yourself, how can you possibly succeed?

Faith is best expressed in action through the ‘As If’ Principle.

  1. Act ‘as if’ you are already what you wish to be, and are on your way to achieving everything your heart desires.
  1. Act ‘as if’ the whole power of the universe is with you, that Life itself is set up to help, nurture, guide and support you.

You need faith when you first set out to make changes to yourself, your way of being and your life style by setting goals. There are periods when things change rapidly, and others when little seems to happen. It is then that faith carries you through.

Change does not happen at a constant rate. You move forward – then you plateau. You may stay on the plateau for several weeks, even months: don’t let doubt creep in because in time you will move forward again. The process has been likened to the drip, drip of water on a rock. For long periods there may seem to be little change, then all of a sudden a crack appears.

Keep the faith. Apply the principles consistently knowing that unseen changes are taking place. What starts off unseen eventually becomes seen. You never know when you are on the verge of breaking through to a whole new level of growth and understanding.

Focus your mind on what you want and visualise it becoming a reality. Follow your inner guidance and you’ll discover an  astonishing inner power, as if there’s an Infinite Intelligence responding to your thoughts, feelings and actions. If this stretches  your credulity, realise that this is not some fanciful esoteric notion, but science. Quantum physicists have long recognised that energy alone cannot crystallize into matter, it needs a pattern, information fields to shape it.

You are not the body. You are not the mind. You are the ‘Witness’that is aware that you are aware, that knows that you are thinking. The real You is non-physical, spiritual, the part of you that has the power to think. This is what shapes your life.

Have faith in who and what you are and your full potential come to fruition. Health, happiness, prosperity and peace of mind are yours!

Finally, the most empowered individuals know that the secret of true fulfilment lies in helping others to enjoy all the health, happiness, prosperity and success they want. This is the highest mission in life, a certain route to happiness and prosperity, and genuine love in action.

‘If you head confidently in the direction of your dreams and live the kind of life you have imagined, you will come across a success undreamed of in common hours.’

Henry David Thoreau

 

©David Lawrence Preston, 18.7.2016

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How to Books, 2007

How to access your Inner Power

You have a wonderful power within you.

Consider the moment of your birth. At the instant your umbilical cord was cut, you became a separate human being, full of possibilities, charged with spiritual energy. You had within you the seeds of everything you needed to build a happy and fulfilling life. All you needed was someone to encourage your natural birthright to burst forth.

Then what happened?

Did anyone explain how you could make of your life whatever you willed? Were you encouraged to feel like the wonderful miracle of creation that you truly were? Did your adult caretakers nurture your self-esteem, helping you use your innate talents to the full?

Whether they did or not, your Inner Power is always there, just as it always was. It nurtures and sustains you, but the way you conduct yourself ultimately determines how you use it and consequently the kind of life you create for yourself. Everything you do and say has consequences. Greed, envy, selfishness and cruelty are all too much a part of modern life: you don’t have to be a part of them.

It originates in the way you think, imagine and feel.

What you think, feel, and how you speak originates in your ‘inner world’. They condition your behaviour, and attract events and circumstances into your life according to your state of consciousness. Your life is a reflection of whatever you hold in your mind.

It is non-physical, i.e. spiritual.

It has nothing to do with physical attributes. If this were not true, elderly, impaired or diminutive individuals such as Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Theresa would have made little impact.

You will never realise your full potential as long as you think of yourself primarily as a physical body with a brain. You must go beyond all that to that part of you which ‘knows’ at a much deeper level.

You can access it through your Superconscious Mind

The Superconscious oversees the Conscious and Unconscious Minds and communicates with you through intuition and synchronicity. When you are conversant with it, it endows you with higher-level wisdom, creativity and inspiration, peace of mind, and an exhilarating sense of freedom

There is an ever-present Intelligence that responds when we direct our attention and our thoughts to it. It is the invisible ‘energy’ or ‘intelligence’ that governs the universe; the ‘life-force’ which suffuses everyone and everything, and connects us to each other.

Attune yourself to Higher Consciousness….

The Superconscious is powerful, but only because it has a direct line to something even more significant: Universal Consciousness.

Do I mean God? No. The idea that something or someone is ‘up there’, outside of ourselves, looking down on us, belongs to a bygone age.

Many religious people refer to this life-force as ‘God’, but J. Krishnamurti, a great spiritual teacher from the last century, a man familiar with both the Eastern and Western traditions, said, ‘There is only one God as manifested in you, but I am not going to use the word ‘God’. I prefer to call this ‘Life’.’

God/Life is within you. You can feel it pulsating in every part of your being. It is present in rivers and oceans, it makes the stars shine, the Earth rotate on its axis, flowers bloom, trees grow and fish swim. It heals the sick, and without it, everything dies.

Mahatma Gandhi wrote,

‘Whilst everything around me is ever-changing, ever-dying, there is underlying all that changes a living power that is changeless, that holds all together, that creates, dissolves and re-creates.’

A student once asked the teacher, ‘How can I find God?’ The teacher replied, ‘How does a fish find the ocean?’ You are living in an ocean of consciousness. It is all around you and within you, just as a wave is part of the ocean. Like sunlight, which radiates throughout the solar system, it is available to everyone.

Love, peace and happiness are not to be found in faraway places or unusual states of consciousness, but here, right now, if you are willing to receive them.

…. by having some quiet time to yourself each day….

Make a priority of having regular quiet time for you. When you commune with your Inner Power in silence, your spirituality assumes a progressively greater role in your life. Regular practice of prayer and meditation makes a profound difference.

Affirmative prayer is simply a conversation with your Inner Power.  Many people think prayer is a waste of time, because they have tried it in the past, felt their prayers went unanswered, and gave up. If this is your experience, it is probably for one of two reasons.

  • Either you have not listened hard enough for an answer because that still, small voice within was drowned out by mental clutter.
  • Or your prayers were answered, but either you didn’t notice, or it happened in a way you didn’t expect.

…. then miracles might just happen.

When you make prayer and meditation part of your daily life, everything flows more smoothly. You realise that, from a spiritual point of view, the best thing that could happen to you is happening right now. Learn as much as you can from it and let your Spiritual Self be your guide. Don’t expect miracles to happen, but equally, don’t be surprised if they do.

Allow this power to guide and support you….

The idea of acting ‘as if’ the power of the universe is flowing through you is not an abstract idea, because this energy is as real as you are – indeed, it is you. Until you fully grasp this, you are like a light bulb without current.

You can light up yourself and the world around you, but only once you are plugged in and switched on. You can receive spiritual power whenever you have a use for it.

Universal Consciousness constantly emits creative energy like the sun gives warmth and light. As the Indian teacher, Sai Baba, said:

‘The rays of the sun fall equally on all who are directed in their way. If someone is behind an obstacle, or in a room, he will receive only part of the light. Cultivating the higher spiritual yearnings is like coming out from the confinement of a room into the sun’s rays.’

Your task is to facilitate the flow of this universal energy through you and get out into the sunlight! How? The basic toolkit is in the letters I-T-I-A.

  • Intention: Aspire to your highest potential, aiming at nothing less than completeness and harmony. As long as your intentions are pure and focussed, it’s there for you.
  • Think: Cast off your negative beliefs. Shake off the habits and thinking patterns that have constrained you, clear away the rubbish you have gathered inside you, and raise your thoughts to the underlying Intelligence that governs all our lives. When you look for happiness and fulfilment in a higher way of thinking, anger, fear and anxiety fade into nothing.
  • Imagine: Imagine yourself permeated with this Inner Power, attracting whatever you need into your life as naturally as breathing. Imagine yourself as a giant solar battery absorbing energy from the Source, this energy flowing through you and put to good use in the service of your fellow beings. Imagine that tranquil centre within you radiating energy and drawing others towards you, seeking the same peace of mind and sense of purpose that you have.
  • Action: Put your ideas into action. Allow the invisible hand of Universal Consciousness to guide you. Trusting to this degree may be scary at first, but you know the reason for this is merely your programming and conditioning. The more you use it, the more available it is. Persevere and you will change yourself, your life, and the lives of those around you.

Ironically it is not the achievement of your goals that brings happiness, but the sense of purpose and direction they bring. If you succeed – great! If not, at least you’ve enjoyed trying.

…. and you will be happy, peaceful and fulfilled and have the courage to follow your dreams.

No words can express how you will feel once you have awakened the infinite power within you. You realise that all along there was something wonderful within you, and you did not know it. But now you do know it. You are greater than you knew, and all is well.

©David Lawrence Preston,

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How To Books, 2007

 

Money

MoneyThere is plenty of nonsense talked about money. Sigmund Freud likened it to faeces: he said we savour our own, but are suspicious of (and disgusted by) other peoples. If we have what he called an ‘anal retentive’ type personality, we try to hold on to it at all costs.

There can be no peace of mind unless you are at ease with money. Money (usually lack of it) is associated with of the majority of stress-related illness, marriage break-up, anxiety and depression, and so on.

So let’s get one thing straight. Money is a good thing. The days of the barter economy are long gone. Can you imagine having to grow your own food, make all your clothes from material you have woven yourself, build your own shelter and furniture, and then trade any surplus with your neighbours? You wouldn’t have much spare time!

Money has no value of its own. It is just a token invented for our convenience. Anything generally accepted as a means of exchange would have the same value. In the not so distant past, sweets and cigarettes have been used as means of exchange when the official currency of a country collapsed.

In a broader sense, money is a symbol of what natural resources coupled with human ingenuity and effort can produce. That’s why there’s never any shortage of money in the world. In his book, ‘Creating Affluence’, Dr Deepak Chopra tells how one of Marahishi Mahesh Yogi’s followers asked him where the money was coming from to establish a new transcendental meditation centre knowing there were no surplus funds in the kitty. Quick as a flash, the Maharishi replied, ‘Wherever it is at the moment.’

Beliefs and expectations around money

What governs your ability to attract money into your life is your attitude towards it and your expectations around it. This is the Law of Attraction operating in the universe.

If you consistently find yourself short of money and wish to change, the place to start your consciousness (your awareness and way of thinking).

Do any of the following beliefs ring true for you?

Money is the root of all evil

This phrase is actually misquoted: the correct version is ‘love of money is the root of all evil’. Many people still choose to believe this, but money itself is neutral – it can be harmful only in the wrong hands. In the right hands – yours – it can be an instrument for good.

Rich people are selfish and greedy, liars and cheats

Some are, but many are honest, hard working and provide a valuable service to society. Many poor people are like this too – and then some poor people are selfish and dishonest. It is not money itself that makes the difference, but one’s attitude towards it.

I don’t deserve to have money

 Why not? And if you don’t, who does? Why are they more deserving than you? What does ‘deserve’ mean anyway?

You have to be lucky to be rich

 You create your own circumstances through your thoughts, words and actions. Good and bad luck tend to cancel each other out in the course of a lifetime. Your aim is to make the most of the good ‘luck’ which comes your way.

If you had more money, you wouldn’t have time to enjoy it

In the film ‘Casablanca’ Sam the pianist is offered double his existing pay to move to a rival bar. He declines. ‘I like it fine here,’ he said. ‘Besides, I don’t have time to spend the money I already earn.’

It may have been true for him, but for most of us it’s an excuse. Money creates opportunities. If you had lots of it, you could spend your time differently, give it to charity or help out your family and friends. New choices would be open to you.

It is unspiritual to be well off

This is an interesting one. It’s true that many of the great teachers had few possessions – but they were not spiritual just because they renounced material things. Their spirituality was founded on a grasp of deeper universal truths, including serving others.

There is nothing inherently spiritual about living below the poverty line, dependent on others. And how can you give to others if you have nothing to give?

An abundance of money is beyond most people’s experience. It makes them feel uncomfortable. Some are even frightened of the power and responsibilities it brings.

Money is a means to an end – that’s all

The best way to think of money is as a means to an end. To seek money for its own sake rather than concentrating on what you have to offer is like putting the cart before the horse. Find what you love to do, put your heart and soul into it, and let prosperity flow in your direction.

Become a master of money, don’t let money be your master. Remember King Midas? In his greed, he asked for the power to turn everything he touched into gold. His life became a misery and he begged to be released from his ‘curse’. So learn to be at ease with money. Use what you have wisely and enjoy it!

© David Lawrence Preston, 17.6.2016

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Ten prosperity principles

  1. You have something to offer – and others are willing to pay you for it (in cash or kind)

What can you offer? As you share your knowledge and skills, you also expand the consciousness of the recipient. All it takes is a little insight and self-belief. Many people have a great deal to offer but lack the confidence to do anything with it.

  1. Do what you enjoy and offer it with love

Put your heart and soul into what you do. If you are passionate about what you do, and serve a constructive purpose, prosperity flows automatically. If you work only for the money, you will never be truly prosperous.

Author, Dr Wayne Dyer said: ‘’Forget about you and all the things you’re going to get out of what you’re doing. Simply go out, head in the direction of your dreams, live your own kind of life, and success will chase after you and arrive in amounts greater than you can anticipate.’ It works for me!

  1. Everyone you meet can help you

When you have a prosperity consciousness, you attract the people you need into your life, but it isn’t always obvious when you’ve found the right person. Listen carefully to others and be receptive to their ideas. You never know when, or from whom, you’ll learn something useful.

  1. Be aware of supply and demand

Supply and demand is a basic law of economics. Find a need which is not being met. There are innumerable opportunities because everyone has needs and wants to be met, for which they are willing to pay.

Ask yourself, ‘How can I serve others?’ With a positive attitude and a prosperity consciousness, you will spot opportunities that others miss.

  1. Don’t sell yourself short

Many capable individuals settle for less than they could have, not realising that their own expectations play a big part in their future. If you value yourself and expect the best, that’s what you’ll get. Think small, and your prosperity will shrink to match your thoughts.

  1. Invest, save, spend and give wisely

Invest, save, spend and give your money wisely. Don’t be mean-spirited, neither squander what you have. When you spend money wisely, you attract more which you can use for your own benefit and that of others.

  1. Don’t agonize over losing your wealth

Truly prosperous people don’t dwell on the risks of losing their wealth. You don’t imagine Scrooge as a prosperous man, do you? Many wealthy people have been bankrupt several times, but picked themselves up and started all over again. They understand that one has to take a measured risk, and if it doesn’t work out, with the right consciousness one can start again.

Real security lies only within you – the skills, knowledge and personal qualities which you have developed. Material acquisitions can be won and lost, but your inner wealth cannot be destroyed.

When things are going badly, e.g. during recession, it is always tempting to blame the economic climate or the government, but many businesses thrive at these times.

8.  The Law of Giving

Give freely, with no thought of return. Make it a habit. It doesn’t have to be material – give whatever helps others. Give of yourself – a favour, a smile, a kind word. Then forget it – don’t wait around for the payoff.

When you give, good things always return to you. Not necessarily immediately, or from the same person, or in the same form. Life itself repays you in all sorts of ways. Tithing – regularly giving away a fixed proportion of your earnings to good causes – is based on this principle.

The principle which underlies all prosperity is this: you become prosperous by helping other people to get what they want. Or, to put it another way, to create prosperity for yourself, help others create theirs.

  1. Be willing to receive

Many people, for one reason or another, feel guilty about receiving. It doesn’t feel right; they’re more comfortable giving. If someone gives to them, they worry about it until they’ve repaid the ‘debt’. However, giving without receiving interrupts the flow of wealth – there can’t be a giver without a receiver. If you don’t allow others to give to you, you are indirectly denying them the opportunity to build their own prosperity.

  1. An ‘attitude of gratitude’

We’re often so caught up in what we haven’t got we don’t appreciate what we have. We have so much to be grateful for. If you’re reading this you’re probably well fed, adequately clothed and have a roof over your head. You have access to health care, education, transport and entertainment. Many people don’t.

Gratitude for what we already have attracts more. Never envy others or make comparisons. Be grateful for the prosperity of others and imagine yourself equally blessed. This adds to your own feelings of abundance.

A final thought on prosperity

At the end of your life, will it matter how much money you have in your account, compared to the riches available to you right now – of love, beauty, happiness and fulfillment?

©David Lawrence Preston, 9.6.2016

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The Second Law – The Law of Attraction

The universe works on energy and attraction. The mind has a magnetic quality which attracts whatever we hold in our consciousness. Thoughts of good things attract good things: loving thoughts attract love, peaceful thoughts attract peace, thoughts of success attract success and so on. In the same way, thoughts of fear, illness, poverty and so on attract according to their kind.

This has long been recognised. The Bible attribute to King Solomon the words, ‘As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.’ The Buddha said, ‘All that we are arises with our thoughts; with our thoughts we make our world’. The Roman scholar Marcus Aurelius wrote, ‘A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it.’ William Shakespeare wrote, ‘Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so’.

The Laws of Cause and Effect and Attraction teach that success in any area of life comes from firming up our intentions, and thinking the kind of thoughts that are consistent with what we desire.

Focus on what you want, not what you don’t

Any line of thinking that you dwell and act upon takes root in your subconscious mind and influences your behaviour. When you focus our minds on what you want, you’ll get it.

Ironically, when you focus your mind on what you don’t have and don’t want, that’s also what you get!

  • The laws of flight were not discovered by people focussing on why things stay on the ground.
  • The inventor of steel ships, Brunel, was ridiculed by people who understood only why vessels sunk.
  • Early psychologists were so obsessed with mental illness they had little understanding of what made people happy.
  • Similarly, focusing on disease does little to help us live long and be healthy.

Breaking a negative cycle

To break a negative cycle, get your mind off what you don’t want, because by dwelling on this you’ll continue to attract it into your life. ‘This is just the way I am,’ is an especially dangerous thought. Change it to, ‘this is how I choose (or intend) to be.’

Nothing much is possible unless you align your thinking with success, believe you can succeed and then take the right actions. This is the I-T-I-A Formula.

See http://blog.davidlawrencepreston.co.uk/2016/03/i-t-i-a-formula/

Develop the power of concentration

Concentration is the ability to direct your thinking. It is the ability to focus your mind on one thought, image, sound or object. Concentration brings the Laws of Cause and Effect and Attraction into play.

Concentration can be learned like any other skill, but must be practised. Start by practising this simple exercise: When you notice your thoughts wandering, say STOP and then gently bring your attention back to where you want it to be. Each time it wanders, bring it back. You may need to do this dozens of times a day at first, but you will find that it gets easier if you are patient and keep at it.

©David Lawrence Preston, 2.6.2016

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