When I was a child I had an experience that changed my life.
As good European, I played soccer during school breaks with my class mates. (You can also apply it to your case with basketball or whatever you liked.) And there was Paul, one of our classmates. But Paul was paralyzed whenever the ball went to his feet.
He was the worst player.
Poor Paul. We criticized him terribly when he lost the ball. And this happened a lot…
Paul was also punished being the last to be chosen when assembling a team. So Paul was always demoralized. School breaks were a terror movie for him.
But one day everything changed.
One day, in one of our matches, (another terror match for Paul,) one colleague called him ironically Cruyff. Cruyff was that time the best football player in the world. Like Messi now or Lebron James in basketball.
And something strange happened when Paul received the ball.
At that very moment Paul made a good dribbling. And then a better pass. “This is Cruyff´s style,” he said making a joke.
The game stopped.
We looked at each other as if something rare happened. Paul also looked at us as if he didn´t know how he did it.
It was funny. So that match we continued with the joke… And that same match Paul continued making very effective things with the ball. The show had to continue…
And so the next day we called him Cruyff again.
We wanted to laugh.
And again, Paul continued playing better. But this time he was more serious, as if he had internalized the image and knew about his new possibilities. (Indeed, he had internalized the image that previous evening, as he confessed years later). So Paul continued imagining he was the best. And the people in his team keep with the joke.
The other team didn´t it find it funny now.
It was a fact that Paul was playing much better.
The next days Paul continued playing better and better. Instead of playing with fear, he played well. Always saying “I´m Johann Cruyff, the top star,” as a joke.
But Paul wasn’t an idiot.
He knew there was a connection.
So from that moment, he auto proclaimed himself Cruyff, as if it were the most important thing in his life. Apparently he did it as a joke. But he knew what he was doing. He was connecting thoughts with results.
Paul discovered very soon that how you speak to yourself is vital. That your mental image is vital. Paul was a smart neuro programmer. So he repeated constantly the image of the idol. No more criticism.
And what happened the next weeks?
Paul continued changing. This Cruyff technique killed his insecurity. His dribbling was elegant. The new Cruyff didn’t lose the ball. And he scored goals…
Paul was focused. No more whining. As an international football star, he had to do the right pass and shot. Failing wasn’t an option. He lived the character so deeply, that he turned immediately whenever he heard Cruyff outside the playground.
That year Paul became the best player.
And that year Paul also led us to play the final against the best team: the frightening 10 years old unbeatable team. But Paul led us to win the final scoring two goals.
I was a child, but this changed my life.
There was something I didn’t knew.
There was something great.
This experience opened my eyes. It had to have some application in real life. Something much better than winning the championship against the unbeatable 10 years old boys.
So from that moment, I absorbed all I could about others results. I became a people watcher. Since I was too young to read scientific books, I simply opened my eyes.
And I discovered a pattern.
All the kids who were good at some skill also said they were good at that skill. Children have a big mouth. So this helped me to relate thinking and results. From Paul being transformed into a world star, to later some confident university friends also winning the best salaries. One of them, a business books fan, built his own business with an important turnover. And all of them achieved it first in their mind replacing negative outcomes with good ones.
And this works for you.
It’s not about repeating the name of your favorite player. (Try it, it works). You can simply think about something big for your life.
So look for hints. Who did you follow as a child? What’s your favorite historical figure? Who has your values?
It can be Plato, Edit Piath, LeBron James, or Marie Curie. So do like Paul and imitate. First as a joke. Make it funny to get addicted. How does your hero look at rivals? Is she reactive? Where she invests her time? If you focus on your idol you will unleash a hidden power. And this will transform you. No more worries.
No more being a loser.
If you play a role you are that role.
Believes can be your best friend. But beware, because many are now your worst enemy.
So first look at your current image. Think on the thoughts you need. Your beliefs must be your best friend.
If you think you are a $900 per month person, you will do all necessary to stay in that bad job. If you see yourself overweight, you will keep eating fast food. This is why so many people make endless efforts with diets. (And this is how gyms make their business.) People want to achieve something without changing the inner thoughts first. But if their self-image doesn’t change, they won’t achieve their goal.
And so they will spiral into a hopeless depression.
If you don’t change on the inside, you will stay the same. The real enemy is your beliefs.
So you have to break the cycle. Everything depends on your self-image. You need an image of you knowing more, running faster or losing weight. You can’t switch to a longer and healthier life without being serious about picturing the figure you want.
So don’t try to change the outer world.
Don’t make it so difficult.
Change your inner thoughts about yourself and the rest will come alone.
If you see yourself confident and in great shape, everything will come easy. If you repeat your favorite self-image as much as you can, you will lose 20 pounds or do whatever you want. So stop repeating mentally over and over, how you were the most overweight person of the class. See you as you want to be.
But sadly most people choose the easy path.
Most people choose the old “it was all my life so.” Instead of trying to improve their self-image, they look to the slightest exception that confirms their old belief. Despite reality screaming possibilities to improve, they will stick to their old image. So while in one hand they will try to succeed with diets or gym sessions, on the other hand, they will continue overeating. They won’t understand that it’s their inner beliefs what will bring them back to their old situation.
So be smarter. Don’t do the error of trying to change yourself too late. Most people will only see in their 80´s that the key was changing themselves. So be more flexible. Change your images about yourself now. Your brain won’t work for you until you create the right thought.
So don’t look for salvation in others.
Others will never make you believe you are the hero.
The only person that can never give up is you. The only one who will see the power of taking a smart step every day is you. And then the only who will understand your huge advance in two weeks will be you.
So why carry an old heavy load? It’s so easy to close your eyes and eliminate old scenes that I urge you to give it a try.
The main function of your brain is confirming what you program in your subconscious mind. So once you have the right image, you will do the right movements. Like Paul´s transformation into a top European football star. He chose to be Johan Cruyff, and so he was.
The placebo effect, this is something you can also apply to your life:
Before launching a new medicine to the market, two tests are made. One group of patients take the real medication and another takes a fake product, the placebo. And it happens that in many cases the patients with the fake medicine notice the same improvement as the group with the real medicine.
Do you see your possibilities here?
Why not take a placebo to think you have the same energy you aspire to have? It’s your believes what will save you, not the outer world, not the medicine.
So if you believe you will achieve something, your placebo-subconscious mind will do the work. Try it. Give fake pills to a constipated person telling him it’s a powerful cold inhibitor and he will “feel better” after two hours.
Or tell him he is a very productive person and the next morning he will produce much more.
It’s your beliefs what will save you. So believe today that your breakfast has superpowers to make you disciplined and you will concentrate this same morning 4 hours in your biggest project.
Use auto-suggestion. If you believe it can be done, you will do it.
But beware because the same goes the other way round.
There are thousands of examples and also an increasing bibliography demonstrating how your brain is enough to heal your body. Thousands of “miracle cures” of smart doctors curing their patients. First creating a strong bond listening to them, and then saying they will get cured.
But this is nothing new. That’s what doctors did 1000 years ago. They already knew that the mind was the best healer.
Modern medicine is perfect. Surgery gets better and new medicines have fewer side effects. But the final solution is always in your mind. So do some research and you will see how patients without chance of survival got healed because they wanted to live. Louise Hay has a good book about this. In You Can Heal Your Life, she relates how after being told she had cancer, she healed thanks to a radical better diet and mental techniques.
So the sooner you believe it, the sooner your thoughts will heal you. And without the terrible side effects of conventional invasive treatment. Because you already have chemistry inside. You are your best pharmacy.
But you need to activate it with your thoughts.
Realize that the power is in your self-image. And if this can save your life, you can do incredible things with new skills and habits.
No matter how much you failed. Look at my friend, the new Johann Cruyff. If he could turn into a great football player and made us win the school championship, believe me that everything is possible.
But therefore change the map of your life.
Because there is only one way of thinking. The one that helps you. And it’s not blaming others. It’s much more simple. It’s feeding you ONLY with the thoughts you want. These thoughts will predict 100% of your future.
Behavior follows beliefs. If you believe you are productive, (I insist: only believe), you will automatically persist more and improve your time management. But if you speak to yourself saying you don’t have the potential, you will fail.
So simple as that.
The most “talented” person won´t go anywhere if he internalizes a negative outcome. Is this fair?
Because believing is free. You don’t need money to change your thoughts. So stop losing time, and make a better image of yourself. I insist: it´s free.
William James said that the only cause of human failure is man’s lack of faith in himself. So the difference between getting disciplined and failing is having ONLY positive thoughts. And take care: it’s not having a mix of positive and negative ones. This is dangerous. This makes people think “Okay, I also have positive thoughts, so I will succeed once I use them.” No. This won’t be enough. Have ONLY positive thoughts.
So make it easy and renew your thoughts. Be manipulative with your brain. There are ONLY positive outcomes. You have all the potential to adopt any skill.
Look at my friend, the reconverted football player.
Or look around you.