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Conscious Success Versus Mental Clutter

Choose to focus on activities that propel you toward our goals.

Allyson Lewis, 03/18/2009

The human brain weighs approximately three pounds and has been described to have the consistency of something between an avocado and tofu. It is the home of the estimated 50 to 100 billion neurons that pass electrical or chemical messages through your 100 trillion synaptic connections. The brain is about 80% water; it uses roughly 20% of the body's energy, and when you are awake it generates the equivalent of 25 watts of electricity--enough to power a small light bulb.

The human brain is a fascinating and amazing miracle. In this article, I would like you to consider the vast difference between what I will call the opposing forces of "mental clutter" and "conscious success." "Mental clutter" can be defined as a combination of multitasking chaos, procrastination, stress, indecision, avoidance, and constant distraction. "Conscious success" can be defined as using your brain to consciously and intentionally set out specific action steps that will logically and methodically walk you down the path of success.

Every day we make literally hundreds of simple choices. We can choose to focus on daily activities that push us toward failure, or we can choose to focus on activities that propel us toward achieving our goals.

Conscious Success
Before we explore the idea of "conscious success," I would like for you to think about how much of our lives revolve around what I will call "unconscious activities." An "unconscious activity" is a routine that you have purposely or maybe without even knowing put on automatic pilot. These are the regular daily routines that you do without even thinking about them. You crawl out of bed, brush your teeth, take a shower, get dressed, grab a cup of coffee, read the paper, grab some breakfast, drive the same way to work, walk in the office, sit down at your desk, stare at your computer screen and then what?

In fact, I believe much of life is run unconsciously. You don't realize you are breathing until I remind you. You are not aware of the shoes on your feet or of the waistband around your waist. You don't feel the watch on your wrist or even the chair you are sitting in until I mention them. Isn't it amazing how little we are aware of? Stop for just one moment . what do you hear? What do you see? What do you smell?

The first step of becoming "conscious" is paying attention. Psychologists often state that the brain allows you to pay attention when you focus your thoughts on something. Imagine that your brain has a spotlight and even though there are many things that the spotlight could focus on, it can really only illuminate one thing at a time. Human concentration and attention is like this. In order to live a "conscious" life, we must train our brains to jump out of the fog of our automatic routines and into a series of focused and intentional tasks and habits.

Conscious success is a choice. We all know what we need to be doing to be successful. In several of the previous articles we have talked about the basic activities that we know we need to make a part of our daily work habits. The following activities need to become a "conscious" part of our day:

1. Talk to our clients regularly over the telephone.
2. Meet with our clients in face-to-face appointments.
3. Network with people who have money.
4. Become involved and stay involved in our local communities.
5. Hold seminars.
6. Call prospects.
7. Ask prospects with money to do business with us.

There are very few mysteries to incredible success. The biggest mystery is this: If we know what to do and know how to do it, why don't we choose to do it? Of course the answer is because our daily lives are filled with literally hours of "unconscious activity."

"Unconscious activities" include:
1. Arriving at work late
2. Not having a written daily plan of action
3. Being glued to your computer monitor watching the market
4. Reading e-mail
5. Responding to email
6. Drinking too much coffee
7. Talking to people who negatively impact your work flow

Mental Clutter
"Mental clutter" and "unconscious activities" are evil twins. If allowed to persist, these two issues will rob you of your energy and distract you from the path of success.

There are three primary causes of "mental clutter." They are avoidance, procrastination and indecision. The stock market decline has caused many seasoned financial advisors to want to avoid having the difficult conversations, procrastinate on creating new and innovative campaigns, and keep in contact with their clients. Certainly the volatility has allowed indecision to erode your confidence and conviction. PAGEBREAK

Further, the emotional price you pay is significant. If you choose to allow these issues to persist, you will experience stress, distraction, worry and fatigue.
 
What can you really do to battle these problems?

The first step is awareness. Once we are willing to admit that we have allowed "mental clutter" and "unconscious activities" to be a part of our lives, we can choose to use our brain to overcome them. As stated above, "conscious success" can be defined as using your brain to consciously and intentionally set out specific action steps that will logically and methodically walk you down the path of success.

Here are a few specific action steps for "conscious success":
1. Have a written daily plan of action. Focus on creating a list of activities that will lead you to have a successful day.
2. Implement the "five before 11" idea. Every day list five things you will accomplish before 11 o'clock. Then do them.
3. Come to work on time. And, leave on time.
4. Get rid of the physical clutter. The stacks of paper in your office literally drain energy from you. Schedule an afternoon to clean up your office.
5. Exercise to increase your energy level. When you have more energy you will be more productive.
6. Get enough sleep.
7. Read. Read a book that will give you a fresh perspective on life.
8. Create a campaign and call all of your clients. When was the last time you shared a new idea?
9. Find a mentor. Schedule a breakfast meeting with someone you admire and listen.
10. Choose to be aware. Choose to be intentionally focused on specific activities that are in alignment with the things you value most in life. Be authentic.

The human brain is truly amazing. The more you focus, the more you will become aware of what is truly important to you. There is an interesting synergy to life, that success follows success. Now is a great time to choose success.

You can download "The Seven Minute Goal Worksheets" from http://www.thesevenminutedifference.com/resources/index.html.

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