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Just about every expert you have ever read or heard tells you it takes 21 days to break a habit and replace it with a new habit. No problem, except that 21 days is like, 147 days in dog years, and that’s what it feels like when you are trying to change a habit.
You’ve tried calming mantras when you wanted to stop biting your nails. You chewed 37 pieces of gum in one day alone trying not to smoke. You chewed ice until your jaw froze trying not to eat carbs. Whatever it is, if you are like most people, if you actually survived the 21 days, it was sheer torture.
A lot of our habits are so ingrained that,we literally can’t think when we don’t have that habit. When she finally quit smoking, for real, my mother had to learn a whole new way to accomplish anything from getting out of be, to making breakfast, to calling clients.
Her routine was set
1) light a cigarette 2) start the coffee maker
1) light a cigarette 2) get dressed
1) light a cigarette 2) start the car
1) light a cigarette 2) check “to do” list
and so her day went. It wasn’t just a “habit” it was her way of operating day-to-day, hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute. You do away with step 1, and step 2 has a hard time following.
For me, I’ve never smoked but my “habit” is eating.
1) get stuck in traffic 2) reach for a piece of chocolate
1) have a good morning 2) celebrate with a tasty lunch
1) have a terrible morning 2) commiserate with a heavy lunch
1) have a really, really terrible morning 2) grab something from the vending machine or see if someone is going out for mid-morning muffins.
These aren’t merely habits, they are our way of being. Twenty-one days to change a “habit” – should be a snap. Twenty-one days to learn how to be a whole new person – impossible.
I did all of the things that work.
I meditated. Who’s got the time to meditate every time chocolate screams their name?
I substituted. My fingers were orange from popping ice chips in my mouth every time I wanted something bad for me.
I exercised. You still have to function outside the gym.
I got a coach. Cost me a bundle and I found myself wanting to lie so she wouldn’t give me “that look” or worse yet, be understanding of how weak I am.
OK so I made it through 21 Days!!!! Let’s celebrate – with CHOCOLATE. Ooops, new 21 days starts tomorrow.
Then I found a personal coach – on CD - Waaayyy less threatening. The only “looks” I get are from myself in the mirror.
Now 20 minutes a day, anytime that works for me, I listen to that day’s lesson. I only have to worry about what I need to do to survive that ONE day, not the whole 21.
Wow, what a difference! And it isn’t about getting rid of a nasty habit, it is about building a new, healthy way of being. One lesson (listen) a day for 21 days, and I can replace any non-helpful way of being with a new way of being.
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So You’ve watched “The Secret”. You try to practice the principles nicely outlined by the presenters, but you are still where you were yesterday, last week, last month, last year!! So What’s The Secret Behind “The Secret”?
I went on a search for a way to make “The Secret” work for me and others like me who really want to change their lives, but somehow keep coming up short. I started by searching out courses and information by the presenters of “The Secret”. Most of what I have found has been very helpful. Some very expensive (by my old standards). And some FREE!
One of the first things that made a difference was following the simple logic in this article by Dr. Joe Vitale (reproduced with permission) on dismissing.
While reading it, I realized that every time I get excited and geared up about a new project, I tell some one - my mother, my sister, my husband. Instead of the excited reaction I want, these people dismiss whatever it is I am excited about.
Instead of sticking to what I feel is worthy of my excitement, I find ways to dismiss the info myself. Maybe you’ll recognize ways you dismiss things that could benefit you.
Here’s the article posted with permission.
What are You Dismissing?
I had lunch with a dear friend the other day. While I enjoyed the company and the food, I left feeling a little depressed.
When I thought about it, I realized my friend was brilliant at dismissing every book, concept, guru, self-help method, or healing approach he had read or heard about.
He was not directly negative or purposely critical. He sincerely wanted something that would work in his life. But he was unconsciously dismissing everything that came his way.
At one point I told him about a guru I had studied over two decades ago. I told him that people said, “My guru was obviously enlightened. He radiated it.”
My friend cut in saying, “I’m sure there are people who saw that guru and didn’t think he was any smarter than a paper bag.”
Well, my friend is right.
But my friend is also unhappy.
I think there’s a lesson here. When we dismiss people and ideas because the entire world doesn’t agree with them, we get to be right. But we also get to stay empty inside. By dismissing what could work, we dismiss our own growth. We dismiss what’s possible.
It doesn’t matter if the book you read and love is loved by anyone else. It doesn’t matter if the teacher you admire is admired by anyone else. It doesn’t matter if the healing method that worked for you doesn’t work for everyone.
What matters is you. Your happiness. Your health. Your healing. Your well-being.
Truth is, no method works for everyone. No teacher is right for everyone. No book is going to inspire everyone.
It all comes from within. You are the first and final authority on your life.
Rather than dismissing what is possible so you can be right, what can you accept so you can grow?
Dismissing is often a way to deflect the messages. It’s a self-defense mechanism. If you dismiss the book, idea, or method offered to you, you get to be right — and stay right where you’re at.
Every successful person I know has accepted new tools into their lives over the years, spent thousands of dollars on personal growth and self-study, and never regretted any of it.
The key is not dismissing, but digesting.
For example, Nerissa and I had dinner with friends recently. One friend was complaining about her job. From her perspective, there was no way out of the misery she felt at her place of work. Bad boss. Bad hours. Bad pay. You name it, it was bad.
Later we were joined by other friends. As “chance” would have it, one of the new friends had connections with where our complaining friend worked. He gave our unhappy friend a name, and said he could help her resolve her issues. He went on to say that this connection was a supervisor, head of many departments, and could probably resolve whatever was wrong.
I was stunned. So was Nerissa. We were seeing magic happen right before our eyes.
But what did our unhappy friend do with her new lead and new hope?
She dismissed it.
She didn’t write down the name or the numbr, or show any signs that something wonderful had just occured.
Do you see how this works?
Sometimes we can self-sabotage the things we say we want. We simply dismiss the good.
Let me end this with another example:
Yesterday I received a letter in the mail about a new audioprogram about dissolving illusions. I read the piece but dismissed it. I figured it was simply stuff I had already heard before and probably even recorded elsewhere myself.
Then today I got another mailing, this time from a different source, but selling the exact same audiopogram. I read it over closely. I thought, “This is interesting, but I bet there’s little new in it.” I then placed the mailing aside.
An hour or so later, as I was reviewing this very article you’re reading right now, I suddenly realized that I was doing the very thing I am warning you not to do: I was dismissing an opportunity to learn.
I dug out the mailing, filled out the order form, and dropped it in the mail. The audios are on the way.
The point is not that you buy everything that comes your way, but that you don’t dismiss everything that comes your way. Sometimes a dismissal is a mask. It’s your self-sabotage at work, keeping you where you’re at. To grow, you must allow.
Again, you are the final authority on your life. Tune in to yourself and do what’s right for you. And as you do this, be alert to those times when you may be dismissing the next gift to come your way.
Let your guard down, and let life in.
Dr. Joe Vitale is author of way too many books to list here, including contributing to “The Secret”, the #1 best-selling books “Attractor Factor” and “Spiritual Marketing,” the best-selling e-book “Hypnotic Writing,” and the best-selling Nightingale-Conant audioprogram, “The Power of Outrageous Marketing.” His latest books are the best-selling “The Greatest Money-Making Secret in History” and “Adventures Within.” He’s being called “The Buddha of the Internet.” HypnoticMarketing
© 2004 Joe Vitale. All rights reserved.
Hypnotic Marketing, Inc.
121 Canyon Gap Rd.,
Wimberley TX 78676
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