2022 July 12 Influencing yourself towards your goals

Jul 12, 2022

Hi, this is Jim Cranston from 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com, the podcast and website by, for, and about Baby Boomers. Thanks for joining me tonight for a quick tip on how to be influenced towards happiness. So let's get started. 


Perhaps you've heard the saying you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with and that's been attributed, I believe to Jim Rohn - or the corollary: Show me your friends and I'll show you the future. It really isn't true, both by studies and I'd say by common sense. 


Do  your friends really affect you? Clearly they do. So, do your friends, and even your friends’ friends? This study showed that, according to an analysis of the data from the Framingham heart study, which has been going on for decades, of nurses in the Framingham, Massachusetts area. So they did a many-year study and then went back doing meta-analysis of the data and got a lot of really long-term data back out of this. 


So there appears to be some sort of influence from those who surround you. Obviously that's not really surprising. I suggest that perhaps it likely goes a bit deeper than just who you see right there. Because although our peers affect us, it doesn't really mean that we have to bring and follow their behaviors directly or their attitudes.


We may also find ourselves avoiding things that we see, or modifying the behavior of those around us to something different than what we feel like adopting. Yes, there's an influence. But I would say it's not always a real strong, positive correlation, because like your average, general practitioner physician, they probably hear more than their share of health complaints each and every day. But when you meet them in the store, do they immediately launch into a story about all their own health complaints? Typically, no. 


So there's a little more than this first level association causation effect going on, obviously. Part of that is, I would argue, as we've been discussing for the past few weeks, we have our own internal filters, our own beliefs. Each and every one of us shape our perceptions of the world by our own beliefs, our filters of how we see each and every action that goes on. This also means that we decide what to embrace or reject in the behaviors and attitudes of those around us.


This gets pretty important. Like right now, we're pretty much surrounded by all sorts of influences. They're trying to sway our opinions. They're trying to sell us something, or they’re trying to get us to react in some specific way. To a large degree, we each have the ability to live in this emotionally loud and frantic environment, modern life. 


We can either allow it to influence us, or we can shut it out and see the peaceful good that exists all around us. Right now, personally, I'm going through this at the day job. Like any situation, there are good things about it, and there are challenging things. But because of my own lack of focus, for a variety of reasons, I've started to let this negative view overshadow all the good things that still exist.


That isn't to say that there still aren't challenges. There certainly are. But if I stop filtering out all the constant stream of negative thoughts, then I'll lose sight of all the same good things that existed before. They're still here. It isn't that the situation has gotten that much worse. It's that I have let myself start focusing on the negative aspects, and then that overwhelms the positive things.


There's many challenges, no doubt, but I let myself forget that this job doesn't define my life, either personally or professionally. I define my life by what I do, by what I believe, and most importantly, by what my goals and aspirations are. You knew we were going to come back around to that eventually, the goals and aspirations.It's where we always end up. 


Now if we get another good reason in my case, and quite possibly yours - if you have challenges in one area of your life, but that area is only there to support you on a path towards reaching your true goals, then how much attention and space should you really give to those current challenges?


Not very much at all. They're secondary to your true goals. It’s much easier to just ignore or downplay the challenges, because they're just a necessary stepping stone on the path leading towards your true goals. The challenges are transient, but your goals are lifelong. The challenges are there for sure, but they're really a stepping stone to where you want to go. 


Think how freeing that is. The job, or the commute, or helping some annoying person, or whatever the current challenge is that 's affecting you - that's not the destination of your life, but it's something useful you are passing through on the way towards your true goal. Now let's take it one step further every day. If you envision your life, once you retain that goal then, and work back from that point in time and imagine all the steps you passed through and all the challenges you overcame on your way to your goal.


When you do that, you're giving your brain the steps it needs to learn how to follow along as you work your way through all of life's challenges. So now all those everyday challenges start to change from negative thoughts that just annoy you and deflate you, into expected obstacles that you are confident you can move past on your way to your dream.


Remember your perspective in how you view any situation is largely up to you. You can motivate yourself by focusing on your desired future. Or you can defeat yourself by seeing only the challenges and the bad things, and not how it's leading to your future. 


Quoting from Carol Lawson, the head basketball coach at Duke university, she says it will never get easier. What happens is that you handle the hard better. Life always has challenges. No matter what you may think about someone else's life, everyone has challenges. The trick is to turn those challenges into something positive. Either the challenge itself or by realizing that it's moving you closer to your life's goals. 


When somebody makes something look easy, what you're really seeing is someone who has learned how to handle that challenge, the hard part, better. So spend some time updating your goals and then think about the challenges in your current life situation or the challenges that you'll come across on your way towards your goals.


Then think about what your life will be like when they're past, you get past the challenges, you've learned how to figure out what to do and all the things that you've learned and how much better your life will be. Then focus on the goal and treat the challenge for what it really is. It's just like teaching us how to be better at reaching our goals.


So that's it for the evening. Thanks for stopping by. Stay healthy. Care for others, but remember to care for yourself. So you can always be at your very best. 


As always. Remember to care for others, because caring for others is the best way to care for yourself. It takes your mind off yourself and it lets you focus on all the other things in the world and all the people who will benefit from you and your actions: the people in Ukraine right now, the war still going on. It's really a very difficult situation. Attrition is horrible, everywhere, on both sides, all around. It's affecting the world. It's a very bad situation. I know it's less in the news these days, except in a negative light. Try to put yourself in the perspective of these people. If there's anything you can do to help, or if anyone is looking for UKR7.com.


The page with links to donations is still up. I'll leave it up for as long as the war is going on. If you can contribute in any way, either by passing the message along, getting other people to contribute, or just supporting them in whatever way you can - either with actions or prayers or whatever - good thoughts, please do that.


So that's it. Remember one of the best ways to care for yourself is to care for others and. As always, be true to yourself and live your life aligned with your true goals and feelings. Thank you for stopping by. 


If you found something interesting and useful, please pass it along. If not, please drop me a comment as to what you'd like to hear. Have a great week, and thanks for visiting and remember to live the life that you dreamed of because that's the path to true contentment. Love and encouragement to everyone, and see you next week on 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com. Thank you.


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