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Yeah, sounds great, right? No doubt you've tried it. And if you're like most, it didn't work. What went wrong? Is it that the whole Law of Attraction thing is bogus? Just goofy, wishful thinking?
As you are about to discover, there are some important details left out of almost all discussions about the Law of Attraction. That's because most of those who have truly benefited never really paid attention to how they got so 'lucky.' Women, in particular, more easily just accept that things are as they are. Men, on the other hand, function best if they know how and why things work. And those who talk about and write about the Law of Attraction almost always repeat what others have said without learning some very significant but simple points. Fortunately, the missing information is a problem that's easy to fix. Once you 'get it,' you'll be amazed by the big gains you can have.
Who am I to talk about the law of attraction? I have never hated my work, yet seventy percent of men do. Having created many of my own businesses from retail, to computer software, to entertainment, I wake up early every day, excited about what I'm going to do next. (For instance, today, I'm writing a book in which I get to brag about my successes with the law of attraction.)
When I wanted to become an entertainer, I just did it, and had years of happiness as a fire and knife juggler. When I became enamored with computers, I used the LOA to become a freelance programmer, creating a wide variety of applications and games, which was tremendously interesting to me at the time.
I have wanted many things from motorhomes to bookstores, and got all of them. I wanted a good wife. I know, some of you may want a different kind of relationship, but that's what I wanted. I have been peacefully married to her for 27 years. We almost never argue, and that's something I wanted, and got, also.
For a long while, I did not realize the techniques I was using to get what I wanted were called the law of attraction. Or more specifically, it can be said that the "law of attraction" encapsulates the series of techniques that people use to get what they want.
Several years ago, Neuro-Linguistic Programming interested me, so I studied it and became a certified master NLP practitioner. NLP is the applied study of human nature, the way we think and communicate. Through NLP, I learned much more about the law of attraction.
But why is this book targeted to men?
There's no doubt about it. Men and women are created equal. But different.
Women want different things, and their whole social universe is different in terms of how they go about getting what they want, and the ways that will actually work for them. They were raised as girls in our modern society, you were raised as a boy. For me to address both groups in the same way would not be nearly as effective.
For instance, many women can simply accept that something works, and that's that. On the other hand, men often want, even need, an explanation as to how a thing works before they can believe that it will work for them.
Assuming you believe in evolution, then you'll understand right away about some of the differences. If you don't believe in evolution, I'm sure you can make figure out reasons why the next paragraphs work.
As far back as when we were primates, maybe a million years ago, survival was tough. Only the ones who got it right survived, to breed more individuals who had the same 'right' traits.
These traits involved a natural division of tasks. For instance, men, being generally bigger, had to catch the animals and carry them back to camp. Women, being the ones that actually produced babies stayed home - at the camp - to take care of the kids.
Women needed to be multi-taskers. They had to attend to the safety and the needs of many children at once. The families were bigger back then, because many of the children didn't live to adulthood. Back then, there weren't fences, locks, and child-safe wall outlets. These kids could fall off rocks, drown, eat something toxic, you get the idea. And being kids, they were running every which way at once. The successful mother would have to manage them all at once.
She also had to be empathetic and sensitive. Children don't communicate well. If their stomach hurts, they don't say their stomach hurts. They just cry. The mother readily identify the difference between teething, hunger, frustration, a sore limb, and so on.
Men, on the other hand, had to defend against wild animals and other humans. And, they had to catch that deer no matter what. If they didn't, the family would be eating nothing but nuts and leaves. We are omnivores. We can't survive on vegetable matter unless we get a varied diet, which was much more difficult before Whole Foods. Not only that, the vegetable matter wasn't always plentiful. Back then, they had to supplement with meat.
So, the men had to catch the deer. They couldn't stop stalking because a thorn scratched their arm. They had to be tough. They didn't need multitasking. They needed focus. Stay on that deer until it's dinner! They also needed technical ability, to make their spears, traps, and all the usual household utensils.
Here in the 21st century, we don't need those same skills, but they are built into us. These are the skills our ancestors used to survive, and so that's what's been passed down through the generations. In the same way that women develop breasts and a certain kind of genitals, and us men don't develop breasts and have a different genital arrangement, our brains have developed differently. It's called instinct, which is more prevalent in lower animals, but still part of us humans. Oh, our brains are not different by miles of separation. Our brains are almost identical to women's brains, just some critical things are different.
On top of that, we have been brought up differently. In most families, the boys are discouraged from playing with dolls, and directed to more technical things such as sports, cars, airplanes, and computers. At the same time, women are generally discouraged from technical pursuits, being directed to clothing, home economics, and family life.
Now I'm not saying men and women can't cover each other in modern society. We no longer have to catch deer. These days we have playpens, baby monitors, and industries who supposedly make safe baby food. And men and women aren't all that different. So, a woman can be a 'fireman.' A man can be a "Mr. Mom." As I sure you know, those men and women who choose, can work computers just fine. In fact the first-ever programmer was a woman. Ada Lovelace. Look her up.
Let's get right to it:
The biggest difference between most people's attempts to implement the law of attraction, and reality, is an understanding of how it works. Being a man, you have probably already learned that knowing how things work makes it easier to use those things.
Years ago, my sister wanted to learn how to drive. My car at the time was an old Land Rover with a stiff clutch. She tried driving it a couple of times, but either stalled the engine, or made a great amount of noise, taking off with an incredible start (causing me to laugh my head off).
So, I took her aside in the kitchen one day, and held up two circular dinner plates. I spun one slowly in my hands, and held the other one an inch away, not spinning. I let her know that I was emulating a clutch. I showed her that if I move the plates close enough together, the spinning one would rub on the still plate, and soon they'd both be spinning together. From that very moment, she never had trouble with a clutch again.
The law of attraction is not a clutch. But there are many principles that are just as clear as that. Once you understand them, they'll be surprisingly easy to implement.
The Common Mindset
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Most men will refuse to believe something so simple can actually work until they know how it works. With that mindset, which is very common, there's not much chance a person will actually make a serious attempt to use the Law of Attraction, unless they can see the logic behind it. OK, I understand. I'm going to start off with a chapter about one simple set of techniques, then you'll start to understand the reasons that it works, and how to do it 'right.' Then, you'll discover neat tricks as you read on.
Three Steps to Anything
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Follow These Three Steps, And You Can Have Anything!
1. The first trick is to figure out exactly what you want. Oddly, almost everyone thinks they can answer that question without hesitation, but upon deeper reflection, it can be quite confusing. In time, you may discover things about yourself that you never knew. A fellow wanted to start a restaurant. When asked why, it turned out he wanted to impress his wife, who's father owns a restaurant. In actuality, he didn't want to have anything to do with the food industry, but he didn't realize it himself. Once he was free of that false dream, he was able to become a computer artist, and eventually built a big firm that employes many artists and animators. His wife is quite proud of him. So is his father-in-law.
There was a fellow who was driving himself crazy to make a million dollars. (This is a more common affliction of men than women.) When asked why he wanted a million dollars, he said it was because he wanted a big house. When asked why he wanted a big house, he said it was because he could have a cat in the house. When asked why he wanted a cat, he said, "Because having my own cat to pet and take care of would calm me, and make me very happy."
So he changed his focus on "making a million dollars" to "having a cat." It didn't take him long to move to an apartment where cats were allowed, and go to the humane society and get a kitty. And in short order, he became very happy. Now that he was happy, he was more productive on his job. He got promoted, and promoted again. Soon, he learned all his company's secrets, and started his own company doing the same thing. Today, he has his million dollars - and his cat.
So, how do you know what you want? Try this trick: Ask a friend to ask you these specific questions:
"What do you want (or what would you like)?"
"Where, when, and with whom would you like to have it?"
"What will having that do for you?"
"How will you know when you have it?"
"How will it affect your friends and family?"
"What will you loose that you value when you have it?"
Have your friend repeat these questions in any sequence several times over the course of an hour or so, and you may be surprised how much your answers change.
Repeat this technique with a few friends over the course of a week or two.
2. Work out a plan of action. Pretty much anything you want to do can be attained in a succession of little, tiny steps. Nothing needs to be difficult. Even designing an action plan can be easy. Especially when you know you don't have to follow it exactly. Let the universe help guide you. If you make a plan that's about right, with adjustments as things happen, you'll get to where you're going.
Your plan can be something that you just carry in your head, although most people recommend that you write it down. It can be as simple as an idea scratched on the side of a grocery bag, or as complex as a spreadsheet. An example:
I know a couple who were struggling to make their organic bakery profitable. Their plan was very straightforward. They just wanted their bakery to succeed. One night their house burned down. You might think: Surely that's a setback. But they knew about the Law of Attraction. They knew that what seems like a negative event can often be perceived as positive, and in fact becomes a positive event. They basically had a party in the street as the firemen were putting out the pile of rubble had been their home. They moved into a teepee on a friend's farm for the summer, paying no rent, and before winter they found a better, furnished home that was closer to their bakery and lower rent than what they were paying before. Then, a couple of months later, the merchant next door made a little mistake and burned his store and their bakery down! They did not have proper insurance. Do you think they worried? No, they didn't! Within another month or so, they rented a new commercial building, bought a bunch of second-hand bakery equipment, and were back in business. But, this time they picked up a better location. This time, there was room for their customers to park, and their sign could be seen on the main thoroughfare. Their financial worries are over!
3. Be open to receiving. One of the best things you can do is to appreciate what you already have. That puts you in a mood and position in which new things can come to you. Without that, you may not recognize the opportunities when they come up. Like the joke:
A man was caught in a flood, and had to climb up on the roof of his house. But, he knew God would take care of him. A helicopter came by, and lowered a harness. The man refused it, saying, "No, God will rescue me."
The water continued to rise. A while later another helicopter came by, and he refused that one to. "No, God will take care of me."
He drowned. When he got to heaven, he asked God, "Why didn't you save me?"
God replied, "I tried. What do you think those helicopters were?"
Perhaps it is already clear to you guys why these techniques work. If not, let's examine some details:
When you have a nebulous or huge plan ("a million dollars") it is hard to take any action. The things you can imagine doing seem hopeless, or the light at the end of the tunnel is too far away to motivate you. When you narrow it down to specifics ("I want a cat"), taking the right steps becomes very easy. Understand, wanting a cat doesn't mean you can't have the million dollars. In fact, starting with the cat takes you closer to getting the million. Why? Because of two factors:
1. Getting the cat was something you did that worked. You quickly get used to that. You might also want a bicycle. Good ones are only a few hundred bucks. You can probably do that. Then you discover that you were able to get your cat, and your bicycle. You develop a subconscious program that says, "I can indeed get what I want, if only I'll take the few steps necessary. In time, you don't mind more complex approaches involving lots of steps, because you become used to getting what you want. You trust yourself, and have confidence that you can do what it takes.
2. Having the cat makes you happy. You feel good. You feel successful. You may even feel loved by the kitty. This tends to perk up your energy, both emotionally and physically. Remember the last time you were depressed? Right, no energy. When you start getting things that you want, you can use that energy to take the next steps. You may find yourself taking those steps without even needing to tell yourself to do so.
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When you're in a negative loop, such as "I'm in debt, I'm in debt," your mind is preoccupied with that thought. It's as if your neurons have burned a path of least resistance, and so the concern about your debt takes most of your waking hours. This is unfortunately especially true for men. You're too occupied with your loop to be creative.
If, you start to look at what you already do have, a nice pair of shoes, a dog who adores you, a warm home, your negative loop is interrupted, and you can start thinking of ways out of the debt. You may also be depressed when you focus on the negative, and people who are depressed can make weird, ineffective choices.
When you stay focused on what you want (not on what you don't want), you start making small, but important decisions that will move you in the right direction.
You may wonder what would happen if everyone got what they wanted. What if lots of people became rich? Would that mean that everyone else would get poorer? No, in fact the opposite happens. When you're rich, you buy things. The salespeople get commissions, the stores and factories make money, and are able to pay more to their workers.
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Many people, women especially, don't have to know how it works. Just have faith that it does, and the law of attraction will work for them, as long as they implement the right strategies. For many women, and lots of us guys, too, that's how it has been with cars. Do you think about the hydraulics and planetary gears in your automatic transmission every time you take a spin in your pickup truck? Hell no. You just have faith that the transmission is going to work. And it does.
Let's say you want a new convertible. People familiar with the law of attraction may suggest you put a picture of that convertible on your bathroom mirror, and start wishing for it. I know that seems rather simplistic, and for this example it is, but it actually works to varying degrees.
Reason? It keeps you focused on the goal. When you're focused on the goal (rather than focusing on the things you don't have), it puts you in a mindset where you start noticing everything about what you want. You can creatively think of alternatives. For instance, you might be able to build the thing you want, work out a payment plan, trade up from something smaller through Craigslist, trade some hours of work, form a partnership, or some other creative way. Your mind is going to be in this new, more effective mindset.
The Land Rover
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Here's how it once worked for me: I wanted a Land Rover back in my early twenties when I had very little money and certainly couldn't qualify for a car loan. Back then, a brand new one was $4,000. (They're over $30,000 now. Kind of shows how old I am, doesn't it?)
I went to several car dealers anyway, just to look and wish some more. Just because I was constantly wishing, and going to places to look at Land Rovers, I discovered a dusty used one in a dealer's back lot that actually still ran, for $400 - quite a surprise. It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but it was a Land Rover that I could afford.
I drove it home, and it overheated on the way. I had to spend $90 for a new radiator. That took a week to save up for, and another week to order. Then I had a Land Rover that actually ran fairly well, but it looked terrible. Although now I was really quite happy with the one I had, what I really wanted was a good-looking Land Rover. I had a friend who worked in a body shop who could get me a paint job for $200. (Of course paint jobs are a lot more these days!) I could pick any color I wanted, so I chose a deep metalflake green, with flat black trim. A couple of months later, I had the car painted. It actually looked better than new Land Rovers in my opinion, since you couldn't get them in that color. Thinking others may feel the same way, I put an ad in the newspaper, and sold my $400 Land Rover for $2800!
It didn't take long to come up with another $1200, and I got my brand new Land Rover, paid for in cash!
OK, you're probably wondering how I got that last $1200. Here's what happened: One day the transmission in my $400 Land Rover broke down. I couldn't buy the parts I needed anywhere, so I bought a whole used Land Rover, one that was crashed, so I could take the transmission for my car. Then, I sold the windshield, the wheels, the seats, axles, all sorts of other parts. After paying to dispose of the remains, I had well over $1,000. Now I realize you may not be able to do what I did, you may not even know exactly what an axle is, let alone how to sell one, but I'll bet you have marketable skills, also. You probably have skills that you don't yet realize can bring big positive changes to your life.
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Just in case you're still not grokking how I do things, and how you can too, let me cite one more example. This one happened just a couple of years ago: I started a bookstore in an era when people simply don't do that. Independent bookstores have been badly hurt by online book venues such as Amazon.com and of course eBooks. But, I felt like it would be a fun project to set up a small store, where I could greet the public, and sell books. So I did it. I did a few things differently, including having a back-room operation where I also sold books online. But after 4 months, I lost interest. So I sold the store. I picked a price that was three times higher than what I had invested, but my wife stopped me. She said I didn't realize that it was already making enough money to suit a lot of possible buyers, just not enough money to suit me. She said I should quadruple my asking price. I placed an ad. I sold the business four days after placing the ad for twelve times the original investment.
In the next few paragraphs, I'm going to teach you how to use the Law of Attraction (and other techniques) to truly get what you want.
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It helps to be patient. There's a story about a gold mine in California. The owners dug and dug, but came up with no gold. So, they sold the mine for nearly nothing. The new owners dug three more feet (one meter), and hit the biggest vein of gold yet discovered in California.
The ancient hunters had to be patient. They'd often stock one animal for hours. The ancients also knew another kind of patience, a longer-term one: Growing crops. Much of the need for patience has been lost in the modern world. You can pop a dinner in your microwave and eat it two minutes later. On the other hand, if you're a gardener, you can understand how you have to put in months before you get a reward. Can you do the same with the law of attraction?
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And, it helps to have some guidance. For instance, if you tell your plan to all your friends, and then you get a bit lazy, they'll remind you, and get you back on track. And, your friends will tell their friends, and benefits can come seemingly out of nowhere. This is a very big part of the effectiveness of the Law of Attraction.
Thirty years ago, I owned a bicycle shop. I wanted a metal lathe for the shop which is a very expensive tool. I told many people that I wanted a lathe, and one day, a twelve-year-old boy came in the shop and said, "My grandmother has one." I figured it was probably a wood lathe, a much less expensive tool that I couldn't use, but I phoned her anyway. Her husband had passed, and she just wanted to be rid of it. It was a metal lathe in perfect condition, with a wide array of accessories.
Trust, be patient, relax, have fun, live a good life!
It has been studied and documented that we hear thirty-two comments of criticism for each comment of praise! It starts when we are babies, "Ooooh, your diapers stink!" or "Can't you keep out of trouble for even one minute?" Sure, we may not have known what the words meant, but even as babies, we felt the emotions behind those words. We grew up with much more negative input than positive. It is no surprise that we do the same thing to our friends, associates, our children, and even ourselves.
This praise to criticism ratio is worse for men than women. Little girls often hear how 'pretty' they are (which can be a source for entirely different kinds of problems). But boys are just troublemakers as far as many adults are concerned, and they don't hide their feelings towards the boys very well.
What if it were reversed? What if you started offering genuine praise to anyone and everyone, every time you see something praiseworthy?
At first, people would probably think you flipped. But they would also enjoy the compliments. Eventually, they may catch on, or maybe they'd just start following your example, because people do tend to emulate what surrounds them.
The big picture results are obvious. Eventually we'd have a world in which everyone hears how well they do things, how nice they look, how their presence is so enjoyable, and so on. And, these people would have more confidence in themselves.
Would they? Of course. If from a young age, you were told that you are good, and that you can accomplish what you like, you'd make the effort. You'd know that you can make a difference, that you can have what you want, that you deserve a good life, that it is worth your time to practice your skills. In such a world, if it existed, you'd have a much more successful and happier life. So would everyone, and at no cost, other than the energy to open your mouth and say kind things to everyone, and hold your tongue when what you have to say is not so positive.
Such is not the world we live in now. But you can change it yourself. Not all by yourself, but you can start it in your sphere of influence, and people will catch on. You can influence your friends, your associates, your family. They will influence their friends and associates. Perhaps sooner than you think, everyone will start doing it. We see it happen with slang. If you're of a certain age, you can remember when "bad" meant "bad." That transition happened fairly quickly. "Awesome" use to mean 'something to fear.' And so can this concept, because this, too, is simply a matter of spoken words.
You may gain from this sooner than you'd think. Before the whole world changes to this new thirty-two-to-one praise to criticism ratio, it will help you in your life. As an example, if you start praising your wife or girlfriend much more than you scold, what will happen? Will your mate become lax? Perhaps dinner will be late, the library books will be overdue, the kitty pan won't get changed when it should? Maybe, a little bit, at first. Can you stand it? More important, can you keep quiet, and let it happen, while you go on practicing your 32-to-1 game?
Maybe so, especially when you know that soon your loved ones will start copying you, consciously or not. Then, you'll start feeling good, when your wife tells you that your hair looks nice, or that you are such a great cook, rather than telling you that the lawn needs mowing really bad. Imagine a peaceful home life, where you know your mate likes the way you look, the way you cook, where you feel no pressure to mow the lawn right now. Why, you'd probably want to mow that lawn, just because you'll get praise for it.
Let's look at the bigger picture. It is a smaller world than you think. Within seven levels of acquaintance, almost everyone knows everyone else. This means that you may have a friend, who has a friend, who has a friend, and so on, who knows Miley Cyrus, Barack Obama, David Letterman, and so on. So, you can influence these people, and all people. Practice 32-to-1, and soon your friends will be doing it, and their friends will be doing it, and eventually politicians will be doing it, and we'll have no more wars.
For best results, make sure your praise is always sincere. Contrived praise is embarrassing for giver and receiver.
Some people have a hard time receiving compliments, after all they don't get them very often. Therefore, at first, keep your compliments small and simple, using only a few carefully chosen words.
People are more comfortable with compliments about things they are not known for. The professional musician would rather hear that you respect her political views, than that she plays her instrument well.
Another way to comfortably praise people is to offer compliments which they don't have to work to acknowledge. If you praise someone noisily in a group of people, the recipient then feels he has to offer some sort of thanks, or deny it, equally loudly. As you can imagine, they would feel uncomfortable. On the other hand, if you slip praise into the middle of a paragraph, then the recipient can have the compliment without obligation. Here's an example:
"Josh, Courtney's a great cook, look what she did with this potato salad! Courtney, is there any more in the kitchen?"
Relayed praise is the best of all, worth ten times as much as direct praise. For instance, if you wrote a song that I liked, but Rowan told you that he enjoyed it when I played it for him, you'd be more pleased than if I told you I liked the song, right?
Relayed praise can be amplified even further, if it comes from someone noted in the field. If I showed your song to a famous songwriter, who then told you it was really excellent, that would be even better than if plain old Rowan said so.
Asking someone for their opinion or experiences is always a great way to let them know your respect their thoughts. And again, if done in the presence of others, the effect is magnified.
Be on the lookout for backhanded compliments. There is a strong temptation to say something like, "I really admire your intelligence. That's why it surprises me that you have so little understanding of our budget." This is not a compliment. We know that but we are so used to correcting, offering critique, that when we don't pay attention, these things slip out.
A good test is to see if you plan to gain anything when you praise someone. If you decide that you have nothing to gain, you aren't trying to get someone to fix your flat tire, to change into a better looking outfit or to clean up their room, then your compliment is probably a good one.
Gossip currently follows the same thirty-two-to-one ratio. You may not think men gossip, but they do. They certainly do. They just don't call it 'gossip.' They call it 'informing' or 'just having a beer' (while talking about a mutual friend).
Gossip hurts the people who do it, almost more than the people about whom they talk. The reason is that someone who gossips can't be trusted. Therefore, as their reputation builds, they are trusted with less and less information. People who gossip have few quality friends, because they have a hard time finding people desperate enough to risk spending time with them.
My recommendation with gossip, then, is to reverse its ratio also. Thirty-two times more often than you negatively gossip, look for good things you can tell others about your friends, family and associates.
"I will speak ill of no man, and speak all the good I know of everybody." - Benjamin Franklin. If it worked for him, it ought to work for us.
"I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who
did not do better work and put forth the greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism." - Charles Schwab, who made a million dollars per year, back when that was significant money, from his management skills.
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A creative listener asks carefully designed questions to help people
think about things in new ways. The results can be fantastic, resulting
in inventive solutions to problems, overcoming frustration, worry and
mild depression, or new ways to relate with friends, family, and
Creative Listening is essentially a tiny subset of NLP. It is free and unrestricted, takes about five minutes to learn, and is super-effective in so many ways:
* Help others understand things they've been thinking about in entirely new ways, often resulting in problems solved, attitudes adjusted, and progress made.
* Understand things you've been thinking about in entirely new ways.
* Quickly establish rapport with clients, customers, teenagers, parents, etc.
* Express criticism without offending, and elicit changed behaviors.
* Help people feel better about themselves and their lives.
In just a few minutes, you can learn enough to communicate more effectively with family, friends, and yourself. In just a few hours you can even become professional, offering your services as a creative listener to others.
You can use creative listening with a neighbor in the supermarket, or in a professional session, or anything in-between. You can use it with friends, family, clients, customers, associates - anyone, young or old.
Easy Steps to Creative Listening
Respectfully challenge ambiguities.
People tend to delete, distort, and generalize. You'd be amazed at what people leave out of conversations. Interestingly, many of these details have never really been analyzed by the speaker. So, when you ask for more detail, very interesting new thoughts can develop.
Everyone says. - Who specifically says that?
It can't be done. - What exactly prevents it from being done?
She hates me. - In what specific way does she let you know that she hates you?
The relationship is in trouble. - How's it in trouble?
The situation is hopeless. - What is the situation, exactly? Or, What tells you it's hopeless?
You might think this rude or offensive, but in most cases, when you respectfully ask for more detail, the speaker is honored - knowing that someone truly wants to know what they are thinking.
Ask questions that cause people to think about things in new ways. Here is a typical set:
"What would you like?" This is a good place to start in many cases. Variations can include: "What's on your mind?" "What do you want?"
"What would having that do for you?" This is likely to cause the speaker to zoom out and see the bigger picture - often for the first time.
"And what would having that do for you?" Sometimes the degree of zoom isn't enough - even when you think it is. You'd be surprised what comes up when you zoom out twice.
"How will you know when you have it?" A surprising way to zoom in for a closer look.
"When you have it, what will you lose that you value?" This will typically bring the speaker to a dead stop for a minute, and can bring up all sorts of useful objections. Knowing those objections will reveal reasons for procrastination, hesitation, and defocusing activities.
"What's the opposite of that?" Another viewpoint that many people have never considered in ideas they may have considered often. This can get them out of a loop.
"How will your friends, family, or significant other react when you have it?" Another way to find hidden blocks.
"If your _____ was a bathtub to fill with something, what would you put in it?" This is just an example, you could use all sorts of similar questions here - ones that the listener doesn't expect, which will jump them off their typical track - often with spectacular results.
"What good things come to someone who _____?" Generally, this is a twist that opens new channels of consideration. The blank is often filled with what the person is doing now. For instance: "What good things come to someone who does not start a camera store?"
"What would someone have to believe _____?" Much like the question above, you can twist it backward, and be ready to hear some very interesting results.
"What's the first step to getting _____?" This is a good way to zoom in, and see the first and most immediate objection.
"What should I write here in my notes?" This often elicits a more honest self-appraisal.
"Now that we've discussed it a bit, what would you like?" Don't be surprised if the answer is quite different from the original answer the first time you asked this question.
In asking all these questions, leave plenty of time for answers. Although at first awkward, you can wait even fifteen seconds without saying another word. The person with whom you are speaking will feel a need to fill the silence, and may come up with something very interesting indeed, if given sufficient silent time.
You can ask these, and other questions, in any sequence that seems right. Indulge your curiosity. Don't be afraid of questions that seem too personal or prying. If you ask these well, and follow the steps below, not only will you get the answers you seek, but the person with whom you are speaking will feel quite honored that you care enough to ask such deep things.
If the conversation veers off-track, you can steer it back by saying something like, "Thank you," or "Yes, I can see how that would happen," but then ask for specific information that's back on track. For instance, if the person starts talking about exactly how he built a bookshelf, you might say, "I see you really enjoyed that project. So, what would you. . ."
You can guide the conversation to what's called a 'well-formed outcome.' Ultimately, you'd like the person you're conversing with to state a desire in the positive, have it be something s/he can initiate and maintain, and have a manageable feasibility.
It has been said that 93 percent of communication is non-verbal. You have experienced that. For instance, someone may say that their neighbor is 'alright,' but as they say it, you see their shoulders rise up, their facial features tighten, their respiration becomes shallow. In this situation, do you learn more from their words ('alright'), or from their physiology? You can do a lot with this 93 percent.
You can build tremendous unconscious rapport by mirroring posture, gestures and matching audio tonality. If you wait approximately seven seconds and then position yourself the same way, if you moderate your speed, volume and pitch about the same way, if you play back gestures, your listener will become more trusting, more willing to share deeper thoughts and emotions, and more willing to listen carefully to what you have to say. Don't take my word for it - try it out. Surprisingly, you won't be 'busted' unless you do it very blatantly. In most cases, you can mirror people very completely, and they never suspect a thing. If your mirroring is noticed, it's no big deal. You can say something like, "Oh, that's just something I'm doing that's supposed to make you feel more comfortable." Or, "Oh, right, I guess I am copying you."
Through mirroring, a primitive part of the human brain unconsciously notices that the person mirroring is 'like' us, and becomes much more comfortable talking about even very difficult things.
Backtracking is very valuable. This means that you repeat certain key phrases back to the person you are conversing with, generally several seconds or even minutes later. For instance, if your user states that something good is 'tubular,' and if you use that same word in a similar context, this will put them at ease - they'll feel honored - and heard. Backtracking is actually the opposite of a technique known as 'active listening,' in which you rephrase what you've heard to prove that you understood it. Backtracking has the rather surprising effect of making the subject believe even more that you understood what was said.
Noticing physiology, such as a change in breathing, a sheen of sweat, impatient jiggling, or change in size of lower lip, can let you know when it is time to shift gears. You can read when you've lost someone's attention, when you have asked for too much detail, gone into an area that brings sadness, and so on. With practice, you can read where to focus more attention. For instance, as the conversation shifts to parents, you may see physiology changes that indicate something more needs to be discussed about a mother or father.
Remember what you are trying to accomplish. Quite often, your story, your attitude, your concerns creep into the conversation. In many cases, that's counter-productive. The moment you start coaching or telling your story, your effectiveness as a creative listener weakens.
Depending on what you wish to accomplish, you may not have to tell the person with whom you're talking anything specific. Simply giving them the opportunity to talk can help them feel better, see things in new ways, and so on, especially if you use steps 1 and 2. Many women are used to this, but for men, it may take a while longer to have the desired effect.
Sometimes, you may feel a need to actively create change.
So how do you do that without breaking the rapport, while still being
a creative listener? Speak metaphorically, as you'll discover in the next chapter.
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Sometimes, you may feel a need to actively create change, but know
the person who you want to change may be resistant. So how do you go
about helping the resistant person change?
You can talk about a person in a similar situation, real or imagined, and what that person did. Here's an example:
Let's say you're speaking with a neighbor about his brown lawn. It may be bothering you like crazy, since everyone else on the block has nice green lawns.
You could tell him: "Hey, I don't like looking at your brown lawn! Please water it."
I think you can imagine the effect that would have.
Or, after spending a few minutes with steps 1 through 4 in the Creative Listening chapter, you could tell him a brief story about a fellow who collected plaster lawn gnomes, enjoyed his riding mower, and felt great satisfaction in having a green lawn. And say nothing more. Wait a week and see what happens.
Another example: Let's say you're talking with your teenage son about being too loud in public places. You might say, "Have you ever noticed how everyone cringes when my friend Fred shows up? I guess that's just because he's so loud."
Metaphors don't work every time, but neither does direct statement. You can try a few different metaphors in a few different conversations, and eventually you're more likely to be effective than with direct statement, especially with repeated direct statements.
Metaphors don't always work. You need to watch your recipient's physiology to see if the metaphor 'went in' or not. And, your metaphor will often bump against the ecology of childhood traumas, family inheritance, neo-Reichian rights and other psychological blocks, but then again, sometimes a metaphor is just the right medicine.
So, here's a metaphor promoting long-term persistence. This is for the person who needs some coaching to follow through on a project. To keep going when it seems - to the person - like there is no hope. This is also good for someone who keeps doing the same thing, and expecting different results.
You can use this for yourself just by reading and absorbing it. You can use it with your own friends, family, and associates. You can even spin your own custom version of this story.
This particular story happens to be true. I won't mention the name of the person who is involved, because even though it happened a long time ago, he may or may not want to be associated with it. He told it to me in front of some other people, so I think it is OK to tell you.
It seems this fellow really, really wanted to be a successful science fiction author. Somehow, he figured he had to co-write. He contacted some of the best names in the business with his ideas, and ended up co-writing books with Larry Niven, Robert Heinlein, and many the biggest sci-fi authors of the day.
Each book he co-wrote died in the market. They never made any significant royalties beyond initial small advances. He kept trying to co-write these books for eighteen years, while he supported himself as an English professor at a junior college.
After all these non-successes, none of the big names would co-write with him anymore. His name became like poison in the science fiction business. They figured, write with him, and your book will die for sure.
So, in desperation, he wrote a book all by himself, and submitted it to editors at the various publishers. One of them picked it up, and within months, it became an international best-seller.
Four Crazy Words
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Four very common words do not usually have the effect you'd expect.
When you say "don't," you are setting up a situation that is the opposite of what you literally say. For instance, if I tell you, "Don't think about dragons," what happens? Right, you immediately think about dragons. It seems that on some level, the mind understands that whatever follows "don't" is important, but the "don't" part itself is not emphasized. It's as if parents who tell their children, "don't put your milk so close to the edge of the table," are asking for trouble. Teachers who tell their students "don't run" are almost commanding them to run.
You can use this aspect of "don't" to help people focus on new thoughts or behaviors. One of the most powerful uses is at the end of a conversation you can offer a hypnotic suggestion such as this: "And, don't be surprised if in the next few days, you'll have wonderful revelations born out of our conversation today."
"But" is a word that also has a special effect. Any part of a sentence before the word "but" is pretty much wiped out by whatever follows. For instance, if I tell someone, "I like what you wrote, but the last paragraph confuses me," guess what happens? Right again! All the person hears is the critique. The entire complimentary part of the sentence is lost.
Another such word is "why." When you ask "why," you get 'story.' Asking "why" is like an invitation or a challenge to defense - it puts the person who is asked in a space where they have to try to tell you "why" on a conscious level, and this is often counter-productive. A better question is "How?" or something like, "What let you know to. . ." or "When. . ."
Finally, we have "try." This word implies making an attempt at something, but more than that, it implies expecting to fail. You can learn to recognize this word in conversation, and understand the probable associated internal state within the speaker. S/he may be in some way trying to let you know that success is not expected. Can you think of ways to use or misuse 'try' in your conversations?
Another Useful Metaphor
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This true story was originally told by Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul. I may not remember it quite right, but hey, it's a metaphor. It doesn't have to be accurate. (But it is close.)
A fellow had just graduated from chiropractic school. He went to his local chamber of commerce to see what kind of help they could offer him in setting up a chiropractic practice. They practically laughed, telling him, "In this community there are already way too many chiropractors. You don't stand a chance."
Unlike most people, he didn't give up. Instead, he started going door to door, asking the residents at each home a few questions. These were things like "Should I set up an office on the west side of town, or the east side?" His final question was, "If you should ever need chiropractic help, would you be willing to visit me?"
In total, he knocked on 5,000 doors, and had brief conversations with as many people as would let him in.
Then he rented an office and opened for business. During his first month, he booked more than $12,000 worth of appointments.
The Final Bit
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The Sure-Fire Millionaire
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You might think the decision to buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks is simple - just do it. But what if I tell you that cup of coffee will cost you $42? Would you still buy it?
Let me explain. If instead of that $3 cup of coffee, you put the money in an investment such as a mutual fund, and leave it there for 20 years, it will, on average, turn into $42. I knew a fellow who understood this so well that he made millions of dollars, yet he worked for nearly minimum wage.
When I met him, Brian was 48 years old. He had retired with several million dollars two years earlier at age 46. When he was 26 years old, he got a job for Sears, driving a van, and repairing washing machines and driers in peoples' homes, which pays just a bit more than minimum wage.
At one home, Brian met a couple who told him that he ought to 'pay himself first.' He asked what they meant, and it sounded like a good idea. So every week, he took 25 percent of his paycheck after taxes, and put it in a savings account. Then whatever was left went to rent, food, and fun. That wasn't very much, but he wasn't making very much in the first place.
Week after week, Brian kept it up, until he had $10,000 in his savings account. He knew he'd have to learn something about investing. Even though he didn't feel like learning about that, he went to the library and started studying up - this was before the Internet. He learned about mutual funds, municipal bonds, money market accounts, and even some things that didn't begin with "m." He moved the money from his savings account into better investments.
Brian was content with his job at Sears, and not really qualified for anything else. He kept 'paying himself first' year after year. Early on, he could have purchased a 35-inch TV, or even a 60-inch TV, but he knew how much that would actually cost. He felt his 21-inch TV was just fine, considering the bigger picture.
He learned to buy only the best car he could buy with cash - no payments. At first, this meant he had to keep his old car a few years longer than he might have.
He couldn't really impress people with material goods. (He did impress people with his common sense.) He couldn't buy fancy clothes. It had to be Walmart, and only when necessary. Sometimes he bought clothes at the thrift stores. After 20 years, he retired. He can now have pretty much anything he wants. He dresses well. He travels when he wants. Brian has a new Jaguar that cost $88,000, paid with cash, of course. Now, he can really impress people with material goods!
I think you can see that Brian was patient. Patience is a wonderful attribute in business. Just about any job you take or business you start, if you are patient, if you are willing to accept the occasional setback, grow slowly, stay interested, you'll be successful. Maybe even beyond your wildest dreams!
How to Attract a Female
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For many, the most important use of the law of attraction is to attract a mate. So let's talk about how to repel a female. If you reverse everything I'm about to tell you, you ought to be successful.
Before I begin this list, I'll have to admit that it is horribly stereotyped and generalized. Still, I think it will be helpful.
* Remember that women tend to be better multi-taskers. That's not only due to evolutionary instinctual wiring, but also the way everyone is brought up in our society. Point out any time a woman is having trouble focusing, and let her know men are better at focus. If you are having trouble multi-tasking, don't mention your situation at all. Furthermore, if she does a particularly good job with multi-tasking, or with focus, don't mention it.
* Men don't like to hear complaints unless they are accompanied with a suggested way to fix the situation. We don't call those complaints, even though they are. Women seem satisfied to simply complain. Tune her out. Let her know you're not listening. Better yet, offer suggestions to fix the situation, no matter how simplistic and ineffective your suggestions are likely to be. Any fixes you offer should be obviously impossible to actually implement. Then look satisfied that you have 'fixed' the situation with your easy suggestion.
After all, only women can listen to other women without offering suggestions as to how to fix things, right?
* Men don't tend to notice clothing as much as women do. We have to scratch through the bushes to get the deer, or in modern times, fix the lawnmower, so our clothing better not matter. It will get torn or dirty anyway. Women, especially in modern society, can take care of their clothing, so it is much more a part of their lives. Make sure to wear dirty old clothing around a woman you want to impress. And, let her know that you are a 'normal man' by wearing as ordinary of clothing as you can manage. The only colors allowed are gray, brown, dark blue, and black. Blue jeans are fine as long as one knee is torn. T-shirt: fine. Baseball cap earns extra points. A hat that makes you look interesting or stylish, no! A shirt with a collar is too risky. A sports jacket is only for the elite. Dress shoes are only for church.
* In our society it has become normal for men to make jokes, and women to laugh at those jokes. This is especially true for men and women who are just starting to date. If creatures came from space to observe, they'd be confused by this behavior, but it is a part of our culture. So, be dead-serious all the time. Everything is critical. Everything is horrible in fact. There's no time for humor in a relationship.
* Women seem to be attracted to two kinds of men. Many women want a wild man. One who drinks too much, has loose moral values, or has some sort of problem. These women seem to think that they can train the man, or by their very presence the man will settle down. Most of these men will never change, or certainly won't change in time, so these relationships always end badly. This is a tragic reality in our society.
The other type of woman respects a man who is gentle, caring, and reliable.
So whatever you do, make sure you treat her badly, make fun of her in public, show up late or not at all, or do what you can to screw up her plans. Then you'll hook up with a woman from the first group. There is a part of her that is responding to a primal calling. She needs a man who can catch that deer, no matter what - a wild man. If he drinks too much, says embarrassing things in public, is unreliable, it's still better than a man who can't catch the deer. A woman from this category will ensure you have a rocky, short-term relationship.
* Never notice her physiology. If you notice that she backs away, cringes, sweats a little, has a drastic change in respiration, it means nothing. Just keep on with whatever you are saying to cause the change. Remember, you're the man. You must be 'right' at all costs before the discussion is finished.
* If she asks for flowers, bring her a painting that you found at a garage sale. If she wants more of your time, let her know that you're doing your best to earn a living, but it takes all your attention. If she wants to go camping just with you, take her to Las Vegas with another couple. If she wants to have an earnest discussion, now is the time to start cracking so many jokes that there's no way to talk about anything seriously. Make sure she understands everything else in your life comes first.
* Cave on everything. Right from the beginning, let her know she is in charge, even if she lets you know it is alright to take the lead. When she does something you don't like, or worse, makes you do something you don't like, don't say a word. Just let the pressure build inside.
* Or, remember that you must never look weak or lose an argument. It's OK to lie, cover up, do whatever it takes so she never forgets that you're the man. Either extreme is OK. Cave or 'be the man.' Better yet, do both, being as unpredictable as possible.
The LOA for Children
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Children are just like us, but less tall, and they have less experience. With less experience, they don't have some of the skills we have developed, such as the ability to make sensible decisions. Due to having less experience (and more imagination), they are also more likely to accept as possibilities situations in which us older people all too often automatically assume are impossible.
This chapter contains some random thoughts on the law of attraction and children.
Expect success from children. Treat them with respect and kindness. Do not talk about alternatives, because most children will analyze what you have said. With enough time, alternatives you have presented such as "if you don't practice your flute, you'll never make the school band," start to look attractive.
"Whether a school has or has not a special method for teaching long division is of on significance, for long division is of no importance except to those who want to learn it. And the child who wants to learn long division will learn it no matter how it is taught." - A. S. Neill, founder of Summerhill, a school with no curriculum.
It is tempting for kids to drop out of high school. Who would want to finish school if their plans are only to play guitar, build race cars or marry somebody rich? But sometimes plans don't work out as expected. More importantly, school is free, supported by taxpayers. It's free! You might as well take as much as you can get.
When children throw tantrums, they are truly miserable - it's not just an act, usually. So it is in everyone's best interest if you can break the tantrum habit quickly. One of the best ways to prevent tantrums - especially in public places - is to distract the child when the tantrum starts. For instance, lifting the child onto your shoulders, showering the kid with sudden extra hugging, or talking about an upcoming trip to the zoo will sidetrack the attention currently being focused on a frustration.
If possible before the school year starts, let a child play with others who will be in the same class so that the child will have friends on the first days of school.
Do your children have a hard time getting up in the morning? Get them up a half-hour earlier than they are used to. The biggest thing that keeps them in bed is that they are not looking forward to starting the day with the frantic morning rush to get ready for school in time. With this rush eliminated, it will feel nice to get up leisurely. Of course, getting them to bed early helps tremendously, also. By the way, this works well for you too - perhaps go to bed earlier so you can get up earlier and enjoy the morning!
How do you get them to eat enough vegetables? One way is to make the vegetables unavoidable. Finely chopped up broccoli makes a nice addition to hamburgers. Try other vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, etc. You can also 'hide' a variety of veggies in your home-made pizza topping by blending them up with tomato sauce. You can mix lots of small bits of spinach with scrambled eggs. Sweet rice with salad bits is still sweet rice. Most children like fruit smoothies. Add just a bit of spinach to the smoothie, and it's still a smoothie. In time, the amount of spinach can be slowly increased.
Is your child attached to a security object such as a teddy bear or blanket that's getting quite dirty? See if you can get a duplicate. You can alternately clean one and then the other without the child noticing the difference.
Try cutting bits off the blanket from time to time until it gradually shrinks so small that the child looses interest.
A Little Hypnotic Suggestion
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Now you have everything you need to really use the Law of Attraction. If there's anything I haven't covered in enough detail for you, you'll find what you need among the eighteen billion pages of the Internet.
So all you have to do is start.
Ah, but for most most people, that's the rub, isn't it? There's something comforting about procrastination. Being defocused isn't so comforting, but something wants to keep us defocused, doesn't it? Yet we know how to stay focused when we really want to. I can't explain the mechanism, but you know how to stay focused. Right? Perhaps you can think back to a time when you were surprisingly focused.
Now, think back to when you acquired or accomplished something you wanted. Your first exposure may have been your idea. It may have been your parents or a friend who suggested it. In any case, you started. And look where you are now with that! Were there times along the way when it was difficult? Were there times when you ignored your pursuit for weeks, months, even years at a time? But there were also times when you progressed, weren't there? And looking back, it wasn't that hard, was it? Where would you be today with that, if you hadn't started, and eventually pushed forward?
You may be delighted to discover it is exactly the same with what you want now. If you can find a way, however you may find that way, to become sufficiently motivated to start, and remember in whatever way you know how to stay motivated and focused, you can become as good in in this pursuit as you have been before. And it will seem just as easy. Go ahead. That's right - one little step at a time. . .
What's today's step?
Enjoy and prosper! - Jeff Napier
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