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And Who Might You Be?

by Charles Burke


Let's try an experiment, just for fun.

Right now, before you read any further into this article, stop for five minutes or so and write a description of who you are. There are no rules, meaning you can't do it wrong. And we're sure to locate some extremely useful insights for the future.

So please do that now. Stop for a few minutes and tell yourself who you are.

Yes, really. Do it now...

Already done? Okay, with your brief self-description in hand, we'll take a look shortly at the things you've said about yourself.

Many people, when they describe themselves, start with relationships and roles:

 * I'm a father / I'm a daughter * I sell shoes / I'm an engineer

Others go first into their physical attributes:

 * I stand 155 cm tall / I weigh 55 kg * I have blue eyes / I'm left-handed

Also, people will usually list habits and preferences:

 * I love reading mysteries / I hate video games * I'm a non-smoker / I'm a couch and potato kind of guy

All of these things are not wrong, so that's a great start, but...

Depending on your mood, you can describe yourself in very different ways. For example, note the difference between:
 * I enjoy eating, and * I'm an incurable gluttonOr:
 * I love to shop, and * I'm a compulsive shopper...

The first phrase in each example was probably written on a cheerful day, while the second may have been done while in the grip of guilt or worry.

It's a fact: we each see ourselves in many different ways.

And our self-descriptions tend to mirror our passing moods. Happy day - optimistic vision; crappy day - sour vision.

So while it's true that we have full freedom to describe ourselves any way we want, we usually do not have access, at any particular moment, to the full range of our possible self-descriptions.

Ever been depressed and tried to find something good or positive about yourself? Hard to do, isn't it?

Conversely, on a wonderfully positive day when your spirits are soaring, it's almost impossible to dwell upon your own "faults." It's hard to even think about them. You'd rather be happy, and the damp influence of self-criticism just evaporates in the sunshine of your good cheer.

You can see yourself in many drastically different ways, although not all choices are easy to reach at all times.

Does this mean you're different people on those different days?

Superficially, no. You're the same person all the time.

But in a deeper sense, yes it does make you different.

If it's true that the thoughts we hold consistently in our minds will gradually change our reality, then we MUST admit that our thoughts about our selves (our self image) will also change the reality of who we are.

Now back to the self description you did a few minutes ago.

Remember, I said there are no wrong answers, so don't pull back. This is strictly for fun (and future profit).

Whatever you put into your description is you, the way you see yourself right now, today.

Next week, you'd probably write something different, and that's correct, too. They're all you at a particular moment in time. At any moment you could - potentially - be anybody or anything.

You know what this means, don't you? You're psychologically a shape-shifter.

Ancient legends described other, more sinister, types of shape-shifters. There were men who turned into wolves under the fullness of the moon. Others became vampires and rose to walk only by night.

The legends, as usual, got the underlying concept nearly right and the details utterly, almost comically wrong.

It's true. Humans CAN change themselves - change their very nature - at the inner level. Or rather, they can change the range and selection of characteristics being emphasized.

Every religion features stories of conversions, where a rogue or villain becomes a faithful believer, living a life of service and devotion.

Every military training program boasts that it turns boys into men. Likewise, girls grow up, bear children and become women.

Children grow into adults, and as the body grows, so does the mind, the personality and the character. Everybody changes.

Those whose ethics and character don't mature are considered cases of arrested development. We say they're stuck in infantile behavior.

So we're all capable of vast, vast change. But any change that does come to us is usually a drunkard's walk, a staggering Brownian zigzag this way and that way as we carom off the random impacts of family, friends and whichever society we find ourselves living within.

We're mostly shaped by the influences we travel through.

Fact: We have nearly unlimited potential to shape ourselves, and almost nobody chooses to use it deliberately. We all just stand around waiting for outside influences to come tell us what to think about ourselves.

We passively wait, like lumps of clay, for any passing hand to shape us and leave random impressions, when we could be shaping ourselves into any kind of masterpiece we'd really like to be.

Consider this: that passing hand is probably even less aware and wise than your own hands are.

Generally, we don't quite know how to make ourselves into great masterpieces. Most people are vaguely aware of what they're doing (or not doing) with themselves. They have this subtle, aching urge to do more, to be more, to live a life of greatness and inspiration.

But how?

You try. You read self-help books, listen to tapes, attend seminars.

You make lists of desires, goals and objectives. You write out your new year's resolutions.

But usually the good intentions unravel and come apart. And the lists, neglected, fall away like the dried up leaves of autumn.

The reason for this, however, is simple. It's basic starvation. Leaves fall because at certain seasons the trees stop sending fluids up into the branches.

Your lists fall away for the same reason. It was glowing enthusiasm, optimism and desire that gave birth to your lists of goals. But enthusiasm tends to come and go. It rises and ebbs just as seasons do.

Haven't you always secretly wondered how they do it - those people whose enthusiasm never falters, whose fire never wavers?

Well, that's just a skill (or cluster of skills) like any other, a skill that can be learned.

Will it be hard to do?

There's no single answer to this question. It depends mostly on how you feel about yourself on any given day. The moods you'll need to learn to handle. But putting aside moods, there are some things you can do to reliably, predictably build up any skill set, including this one.

Here's how.

STEP 1. Describe what success means for you

No matter what you want, you can probably have it, but if you can't see it, you won't hit it. So the first thing to do is to develop a clear vision. Name and describe your objective in detail.

Really spend some time on this. Make yourself aware - more aware every day - of what you want, and how much you want it.

Every person who is successful over the long term spends time every day with their goals, their objectives, their values. They steep their mind in the things they want in their life. They magnetize themselves.

Why do you make a shopping list before you head out the door to the grocer's? It's so you won't forget what you went for.

A goals list is exactly the same. You make a list so you can stay in direct touch with the things you've decided to do. It's a shopping list for life.

Let's say you've got a five-year plan for your business or your career. Most people don't have a photographic memory, so we forget stuff. Things gradually (or not-so-gradually) fade from immediate awareness. We lose touch with what we're doing unless we review.

Heck, sometimes we can walk into the kitchen and forget what we went in there for. 

How much more likely are we to lose our place on the way too- large, very complex goals?

If you've got goals (or want to have some), write 'em down.

Years ago, Harvard Business School did a survey and found that only three percent of its graduating class had a written list of goals.

Interestingly, in a follow-up study 20 years later, those same three percent had a higher net worth than all the other 97 percent combined.

So write it all down. Then go back and review it every single day. Does that sound tedious? Probably. But every new skill is tedious when you're in the learning phase.

You'll get past it... if you give yourself a chance to.

STEP 2. Model success

Highly successful people study other successful people. They read biographies and absorb the details like a sponge.

They study anybody who's doing something they want to learn.

In virtually every case, they go out and find a mentor, somebody they'd like to learn from, and they ask for help.

They spend a lot of time figuring out how to do things well and practice until they master what they want to learn.

Again, this may sound tedious and boring.

If so, that's a sign that you're not actually in touch with your own goals. A real goal grabs you and pulls you through everything that gets in your way. You don't really have to drive yourself because the energy comes from the goal, from a future event, not from you.

Successful people instinctively know this, so that's why they spend so much time looking at their goals.

I once had a friend, Marshall, who loved taking his truck off-road. He'd get into some of the awfullest terrain, but no matter how stuck he got, he never had to leave his truck. That vehicle had a motorized winch.

If he got stuck in mud or blocked by a fallen tree, he'd unwind the cable from his winch and hook it to something on the other side of the obstacle.

Then that winch would just slowly, unstoppably pull his truck over or through anything. He always got where he was going.

A goal also works like that if you'll keep it alive and breathing in your heart. It reaches out, hooks onto a future result you want, and if something seems to get in your way, the goal just drags you inexorably forward toward your destination. Obstacles just seem to melt away

Successful people instinctively know this. That's why they spend so much time staying in touch with their goals. They're literally sinking hooks into the future they want so that they won't wind up in a future they don't want.

STEP 3. Understand your inner mind's job

When an archer aims an arrow, he releases it and lets it fly. If he has aimed well, the arrow will get where he intended it to go. You'll never see an archer carrying his arrow to the target. He lets it go.

In the same way, when you form a goal or make an affirmation, don't feel that you have to tell your inner mind exactly how to accomplish the job. You've aimed. You've released your arrow. That's plenty.

Please understand: how you phrase a goal can mean the difference between achieving it or not.

The core purpose of a goal is to expand you, your life and your capabilities. For that reason, your mind is more responsive to goals that open your life and make it bigger. Likewise, your mind tends to discount goals that close off choices.

Instead of saying something like "I have stopped smoking," try "I am free to enjoy clean, open, healthy lungs." That's your real goal; experiencing more, not less. You're not closing off one choice; you're opening up a second one.

Rather than "I lose 15 pounds," you could say "I'm proud of the way my body looks" or "I'm physically fit, and my body is flexible."

After all, you could get sick and end up weighing less but look and feel terrible. Naturally, that's not what you want. What you really want - the end result you truly desire - is to feel good, look good, and be attractive.

And since that's what you want, just say so.

Be specific about what you want, but leave the details of how it gets done to your inner mind. Example: "I am an expert artist," not "I study art at Such-and-such University." Maybe you'd learn more if you studied someplace else. So leave out the details of how it all gets done.

You don't have to carry the arrow.

Never mind what you THINK it will take to make you feel good about yourself. Just directly name what you want, and let your inner mind sort out how to do the job. Taking care of details is your inner mind's job, so step back and let it do things in its own way and time. It'll always figure out better, more effective ways than you could ever think of consciously.

There may be something you've been doing for a long time, like eating luscious (but fattening foods), or smoking for relaxation, or anything else you think you want to change. However, the part of you that gets satisfaction from your habit will not want to suddenly be without its pleasure.

Doing without usually feels like you've been robbed, and having something stolen from you is not pleasant. In fact, it will be bitterly resented at some level.

So try never to steal from yourself. Don't narrow your choices and limit your life. Instead, find ways to expand and enlarge the life you're living.

Beyond Luck: A Free 20-day Boot Camp in Building Success and Good Fortune


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Being lucky is a skill, just like any other skill. As you learn it and you practice it, you get better. You get luckier. But if you can control it, is it really luck? That's what these 20 lessons are about: learning to change the kind of events you attract into your life-to go beyond luck.

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STEP 4. Plan ahead for the down days

Will every day be easy and effortless?

I'd be lying if I told you it would. There WILL be days when it's hard to make yourself go through the routine.

So should you just ease off and wait till you feel better again?

I think everyone knows the answer to that question. No, there are days when it's just a grind, when you don't FEEL like motivating yourself.

But I've got some good news. If you have a day (or days) like that, it means you're getting closer to a breakthrough. This kind of resistance is caused by old parts of your thinking, old habits, that see change coming, and they dig in to try and delay that change.

They whisper things like, "Why am I doing this silly stuff? It's boring and pointless. I'll never be rich or successful anyway, so why do I drag myself through all this?"

Ever heard your own mind whispering things like this to you? Most people have.

So if you get this kind of feeling sweeping over you, cheer up. It's a sign that real results are coming.

I don't tell you that things will sometimes be tough to discourage you; it's just the opposite.

Remember this one point, and when discouragement or doubts come, it'll be easier to keep yourself moving forward.

STEP 5. Stair-step your goals

Maxwell Maltz wrote in Psycho Cybernetics that the mind is a goal-seeking device, just like the guidance system on a missile or a torpedo.

When you give it a goal, it goes to work finding ways to take you where you've aimed it.

But then, once it gets there, once it reaches the goal, the job is done. It goes back to sleep.

And suddenly you stop moving forward.

You've probably experienced this. You work hard to reach an objective, but once you get there, there's no drive left. You're left with a hollow, empty, aimless feeling.

In fact, that IS the problem. You're suddenly aimless... you are not aimed at any goal.

The way to avoid this problem is to stair-step your objectives so that they overlap. You'll always be working on a number of goals at the same time. Your major emphasis is on Goal A, and your secondary energies go into Goals B, C, D and E.

Then, once you reach Goal A, each of your secondary goals moves up a notch. Goal B takes over the top spot, becoming Goal A.

This is the way you keep yourself from grinding to a stop after an important triumph.

STEP 6. Be all that you can be

Darel Rutherford wrote in 'The Being Solution' that both poverty and riches are states of being.

He points out that our actions spring from our thoughts, and our thoughts in turn arise directly from what we are, our state of being.

In other words, you will not have riches until you ARE a rich person.

And how to you BE rich when you've never done it and you're not sure how?

Here are a few things that will take you a long way in the right direction.

Say things like: "I am rich. I accept riches. I claim them as mine, and I receive them this instant."

Okay, you are now rich. The money in your hand may not have grown yet, but the money you have laid claim to has just grown enormously. Now just confidently hold that thought. You have claimed the riches and they're on the way to you now.

Again, this is very much like mailorder. Once your order is submitted, you relax. It's on its way, and you WILL receive it.

Another suggestion: Forget specific amounts of money. Your inner mind (the universe, higher spirit) knows more about your needs than you do. Try saying "All my bills are easily paid in full and on time." Isn't that really enough?

What? You'd rather have lots of extra cash on hand "just in case"? If spirit can supply your needs today, won't it be there for you tomorrow?

Again, you don't have to carry the arrow.

Just lay out all the things you'd like to have. Make a list. A long, detailed and very complete list of everything on your mind. Claim it all. Accept it all.

You don't always need big money for a prestige car. What if you won a raffle? What if a distant uncle left you one in his will? Money is not always the way things get done.

Let your inner mind or the higher spirit sort out the details. You just aim the arrow and release it. You don't have to carry it, too.

Do you still have the self-description you wrote when we started? Good, now it's time to put it to use.

No matter what you wrote, it's okay. Even if there are "faults" or "weaknesses" included, you're fine. Don't scratch anything out. What we're going to do is add to your list and make it longer, not shorter.

We'll expand your options, not reduce them.

Draw a line under the last item on your list, then start writing all the things you'd like to become.

If you'd enjoy learning to sing, write that.

Want to enjoy working out or make many new friends? Put them in, too.

What we're doing is taking you from where you are right now, and building a new, more complete you.

Once you've added all the things you can think of today, stop writing and draw a line. Read each new item, and say, "I claim this. I accept it. It's mine right now."

Now put the list away till just before you go to bed. Then take it out and go over it again. Read each item and again claim it as yours.

In this way, you're getting used to the idea of expanding your self into exciting new areas. How will it happen? Don't worry about it. Doors will open, coincidences will happen, people will bring you opportunities. Things you never expected.

Good stuff just starts happening when you claim good for yourself (and give thanks for it). That's the way the universe is wired.

So who might you be? That's entirely up to you when you use this approach.

FACT: You May Be Missing 97% of All Opportunities!
It's not your fault. Nobody ever taught you to see them,
but once you know they're there, you'll be finding REAL
opportunities - real riches - everywhere you look.
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Revealed: the Secret that Can Make You Success-Prone


They say lady luck is always fickle, and most people firmly believe that's true. But lady luck is not the problem.

Charles Burke shows you how to change your luck - turn it around 180 degrees. You can finally stop wondering what's going to happen to you next. Start calling the shots now - take charge of your luck, your success, your love-life.

Read 'Learn To Command More Luck' today. Act now!


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