Today, there are a lot of high-powered motivational speakers, who are very charismatic, and apparently very self-confident, and who have a seemingly endless number of self-help techniques to teach you.
Thousands of people - maybe even millions - listen to these self-help “gurus” every year; they attend their seminars; they buy the $1500 package of DVDs, and the truth is that a lot of these speakers say some things that make a lot of sense.
One of their favorite catch phrases is that they'll tell you “how to unlock our potential,” and “unleash your power.” Emuna Coaching can also help you “unleash your power” - but while there are similarities, there are many, many differences between our approach and the standard, conventional approach of the self-help gurus.
Let's start with some of the points we agree with. Typically, a person is told that he has unlimited potential - and we're not going to disagree with that. Who knows what your potential is? Who knows what things you can achieve, or what world records you can break?
Just think of Roger Bannister, the first human being to ever run a mile in less than four minutes. Before him, nobody else in history had achieved that, so people thought it was impossible to do. Along came Bannister, ran his four minute mile, and set a new world record in the process. How did he do it? Well there are only so many hours in a day. He couldn’t have trained that much more than the other athletes. There are also only so many fresh fruits and vegetables that a person can eat. Like the others, he also spent a lot of time seeing himself in his own mind crossing the finishing line at the four minute mark.
But it wasn't enough for Bannister to just visualize his success, he also had to do these things in a happy state of mind. If Roger Bannister had been training in a depressed state of mind, with all kinds of negative ideas in his head, like his strength's going to fail at the last minute; or that he's going to get nervous and seize up; or that he’s likely to trip and fall - then no matter how many hours he would have spent physically training, he would have still been conditioning himself to fail, mentally.
The mind has to be clean and focused on the right things while imagining success. In Bannister's case, interestingly, after he broke that world record, in the next two years, 37 other runners also became four-minute-milers, because all of a sudden, it wasn't so hard. They saw that it was possible.
It works that way in other areas of human endeavor, too. It only takes the first person to believe that something “impossible” is possible, and to just do it, to open the gates wide to other people who can emulate, and even surpass, their initial accomplishment.
This is all great when it works. But my question is this: what happens when all that positive visualization, and believing we can achieve amazing things, doesn't work? What if you go to the event, or the seminar, and you buy all the DVDs, and you pump yourself up, and you get into a “peak state” just like they recommend, and you're thinking positively, you're doing everything they recommend - but it still just doesn't go?
Let's say you start a new business, and it flops… How are you going to unlock your power now? Where is your power when you’re losing money?
This whole question of where your power is, is crucial. Because the “power” we have is not actually in our hands. The power we have to achieve or accomplish something, to make a lot of money, to grow in wisdom, or to have a great relationship with our spouse - that's not our power. We've been given that power from Above.
So there are two ways of looking at the world, two main choices we can make:
By Rabbi Shalom Arush - Gate of the Conscience
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Blessings for a great summer!
Dr. Zev Ballen