Most of us like to think of ourselves as logical individuals acting in our own best interests and hopefully to benefit others. Why then do we see so many people, some very well educated people, act in an almost self destructive manor? More importantly how can we stop this tendency in others and ourselves to achieve our full potential?

In Weldon Long’s book, The Power of Consistency he states that we tend to take actions that are constant with the things we repeatedly say to ourselves. Or said differently “Private affirmations dictate future actions.”

James Allen in his 1902 book As a Man Thinketh states; “As the plant springs from and could not be without the seed, so every act of a man springs from the hidden seeds of thought, and could not have appeared without them.”

You will find quote after quote over the years supporting the concept that as we think so we will act. My favorite is “You think you can or you think you can’t, either way you are right.” But what is the science behind this.

The Reticular Activating System or RAS has been discussed in various business books and documented by the medical profession for years. Simply put the RAS acts as the filter for the brain regarding what we notice. An example is when purchase a new car. The next day you will notice that suddenly there are a lot of folks driving the same car. Of course the only thing that changed was your perception and that is the key to all of this.

Our perception of all we experience passes through the RAS.

The bad news is that the RAS will filter information to substantiate our beliefs whether right or wrong. If you believe that the economy is bad and your business will suffer then your RAS will work overtime to confirm that belief. The result is that your business will suffer and each newscast will help to confirm why this is inescapable.

Think about someone you know that has been very successful. It is not that bad things have not happened to them but rather that when something bad does happen they find a way to learn and move forward. In John Maxwell’s book he turned around a common phrase of “Sometimes you Win, Sometimes you Lose” to Sometimes you Win Sometimes you Learn.” That can only happen if you keep an open mind to new thoughts and beliefs. You are really allowing yourself to reset your RAS!

In Spencer Johnson’s book, Peaks and Valleys he observes that we all face good times and bad times personally and in our businesses.

Weldon Long uses the phrase “the junk in the trunk” to refer to what we have put into our brain over the years. Not that everything in your brain is junk but it is the “junk” that will keep us from our potential because it tells the RAS to support whatever the junk is.

The first step then is to look at ourselves and find out what “junk” we have in our trunk. What preconceptions do we have that we may not even be aware of?  For me as an introvert I always felt awkward speaking publicly or even being among extroverts. I learned years ago that to be successful I needed to overcome that limitation. I am still an introvert but have found I can handle myself quite well speaking publicly.

“The path out of the Valley appears when you choose to see things differently.” “You change your Valley into a Peak when you find and use the good that is hidden in the bad time.”      Spencer Johnson

The second step then will be to empty the “junk”. Easily said but not so easily done. You first must really want to change yourself. Tom Hopkins author of How to Master the Art of Selling said. “You can gain all the education in the world, but if you don’t become the person you need to be to achieve the greatest benefit from that education, you might as well have stayed in kindergarten.”  We are really saying that you have to change YOU!

Make a list of who you want to be. It may be “I am a great Salesperson” or “I am a great manger” or “I am successful” or “I am a great parent”. (You get the idea.) Then consider this list and tell it to yourself each day at a regular time for 10 or 15 minutes. You will become what you say you are.

Third step in this process is to decide what results you are looking for. At this point you have deleted or are deleting the “junk in the trunk” and what we will now do is reprogram the brain to look for those things that will give you the results you want.

The process goes like this; Your thoughts drive your emotions. Your emotions drive your actions. Your actions drive your results. As you are thinking about what results you want feel the emotion attached to that result to lock it into the brain. Now list what actions will be required to get to the results you want. The fourth and last step is to combine your list of what you want to be with the list of what results you want into your Prosperity Plan and review it and contemplate what it means to you for 15 minutes each day in a Daily Quite Time. Don’t just read the Plan but feel what it will mean to have accomplished the Plan.