Change your thinking, change your life!


by Floyd Maxwell, BASc

Presented on June 5, 1997

First of all, let me begin by congratulating all of you!

Every one of you is successfully accomplishing what you desire.

QUESTION: What do you desire?

After all, a drug addict is successful every time she gets another fix.

For most people, the goal is financial. $25,000/year may be considered "not enough". $40,000/year may be "OK" for many. $60,000/year may be the goal so that the individual can have the resources to devote to more important things.

As philosophers, our most important goal should be the attainment of Consciousness.

When we chose to become philosophers, we set foot on "The path from which there is no constructive return." We can't go back to the selfish pursuit of desire without completely destroying ourselves. Like it or not we are completely committed to trying to become Conscious.

QUESTION: How many of us are Conscious?

ANSWER: Next to none.


E. James Rohn sums it up when he says:

"We don't have enough reasons."

If we had enough reasons, personal this-means-something-to- me-individually, reasons, then we would be putting ALL our efforts into this goal, and we would naturally succeed.

But there is an obstacle to be overcome.

The object that needs to be changed (our thinking) is the object being used to effect the change.

In computing, there is a saying: "Garbage In, Garbage Out".

Thus, we are trying to change the quality of our thought, yet we have less than ideal thoughts and less than effective approaches.

QUESTION: How do we get around this "chicken and egg" problem?

ANSWER: Application of basic principles.

The first works are a healthy body (instrument), proper diet, breathing; habits (physical and mental hygiene), right association and environment, need for refinement and culture, cultivation of creativeness and ambitions; study of the principles of life, and love and respect to all.

QUESTION: But is it really this "straightforward"?

Or, "where does lying on the beach fit into the above"?

The increasingly discordant and destructive state of the world is forcing each of us to change our priorities, for the better. Whenever we change our priorities for the better, our life immediately improves. But once the crises of the moment pass, we have a different test -- was the change permanent, or temporary?

This is a test of confidence. Our confidence in Principles, and in ourselves. If we "don't think we can make it", then we may very well fall by the way side at some time in the future...perhaps with the achievement of the goal in sight or even just around the corner.

I respectfully suggest that our "lying on the beach" days are over. Oh, we might still spend a few minutes each year enjoying the wet sand in our toes, but we had best keep active mentally -- seeking new ways to take the principles of constructive living to the world.

This is our second most important goal.

I still remember my University of British Columbia motto: "Tu Um Est" -- It is up to you.

Part of our "activity" should involve the conscious effort to relax. We should be able to consciously "shut off" the flow of our daily activities when we need to go fishing or take some well deserved time off, and then mentally start up the workflow upon our return. We should develop the ability to turn our work on and off when it is best to do so, and at least once per day!

Developing this ability will have help us to attract things we desire more successfully than if we didn't take the break!

There is nothing new in this suggestion but we need to become more effective at visualising progressive and constructive results!

QUESTION: So what goals do you have?

I would encourage everyone to go home and write down their goals. Write down every little thing that's gnawing away at you. You should have 10 to 30 or more points before you are done.

The next stage the "experts" normally recommend is to prioritize your goals into three categories: A - essential, B - necessary, C - not essential. Then, within those categories it is recommended that we assign a degree of urgency to each goal, with 1 being most urgent, and 3 (or 5) being least urgent. Then one is to concentrate on the "A1's" and "B1's", etc.

I think that philosophers should change a key aspect of this procedure.

With each goal we should assign a priority and urgency level based on our aim to grow personally and to help others. For example, how much of a priority and how urgent is it that we "Go to Hawaii once a year"? I would respectfully suggest that this is a C5, the lowest of goals, as it is neither a priority nor urgent. Note that I'm not saying that one should never go to Hawaii, but rather that, from the perspective of the personal growth and assisting others, there are much higher priorities and much more urgent activities that need to be worked on now.

I should add that this new way of prioritising our life is not always less "exciting". There is no greater reward than to help another being.

And don't ignore the merits of cleaning, dish washing, and vacuuming! A clean and light environment will keep us "up" and inspired to pursue our goals. If we are not up, we will take the easier, and lower, road instead.

Here are some adjectives that should be thought of as "goals to succeed with":

  • reliable
  • hard working
  • sincere
  • analytical
  • kind
  • generous
  • understanding
  • seeking
  • patient
  • selfless

Each of us should study each of these words, and add others. We should then visualize incorporating them.

Here's a catch phrase that you should reflect on:

"Selfless people succeed."

A big part of becoming successful is to study successful people. While there are many people we can study, I suggest that we study how philosophical people like Mohandas Gandhi, Confucius, Helen Keller, George Bernard Shaw, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Thatcher, Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar and others succeeded. To enhance this process, while reading about their lives I would suggest asking yourself questions like: "How would I have handled that situation?" "What were the advantages of their approach?" "How selfless were their actions?" And then the tough question: "If I was to try to act that way, what weaknesses in my nature would limit me and require me to change?"

Studying successful philosophers is an invaluable activity, and I encourage you to do it.

And so, like any talk on health, happiness and success, we come to the usual point where we realize that:

We must be in harmony with our spark, our purpose, our Inner Goal...and the more in harmony the better (i.e. more successful) we will be.

Health, happiness and success require:

a GIVING ideal

a GIVING attitude

Constant Conscious Giving

I encourage you to get involved in the always present opportunity!

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