Main Good Vibes, Good Life: How Self-Love Is the Key to Unlocking Your Greatness
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Fantastic book really enjoyed made so much sense really good read !
09 November 2021 (02:15)
A beautifully designed book full of inspiring quotes and tried-and-tested wisdom on using positivity to create a life you love.
How can you learn to truly love yourself? How can you transform negative emotions into positive ones? Is it possible to find lasting happiness?
In this book, Instagram guru Vex King answers all of these questions and more. Vex overcame adversity to become a source of hope for thousands of young people, and now draws from his personal experience and his intuitive wisdom to inspire you to:
* practice self-care, overcome toxic energy and prioritize your wellbeing
* cultivate positive lifestyle habits, including mindfulness and meditation
* change your beliefs to invite great opportunities into your life
* manifest your goals using tried-and-tested techniques
* overcome fear and flow with the Universe
* find your higher purpose and become a shining light for others
How can you learn to truly love yourself? How can you transform negative emotions into positive ones? Is it possible to find lasting happiness?
In this book, Instagram guru Vex King answers all of these questions and more. Vex overcame adversity to become a source of hope for thousands of young people, and now draws from his personal experience and his intuitive wisdom to inspire you to:
* practice self-care, overcome toxic energy and prioritize your wellbeing
* cultivate positive lifestyle habits, including mindfulness and meditation
* change your beliefs to invite great opportunities into your life
* manifest your goals using tried-and-tested techniques
* overcome fear and flow with the Universe
* find your higher purpose and become a shining light for others
15 December 2021 (21:47)
I bought this book because a friend recommended it to me and it's great. It gives you a feeling of peace but also a feeling to take action while reading the book. There's a lot of tips in there to higher your vibration and actually get where you want to get in life. I hope this book helps many more as I hope it'll help me.
17 February 2022 (09:38)
Thank you for helping "our growing journey". I would like to have ZEN(book) able to download as a pdf and read too...
26 February 2022 (20:35)
Meditate Meditation is growing in popularity and receiving praise from all directions: from occupational therapists to mainstream media, people from myriad different backgrounds are talking about the benefits of meditative work. But to the uninitiated, meditation practice can appear daunting, time-consuming and difficult to get to grips with. I personally avoided it for many years for these exact reasons. Like many people, I planned to meditate but never quite got round to it. When I finally began, I found it awkward and wasn’t sure if I was doing it right, or if it was working. My practice was inconsistent and I struggled to see how it could be of benefit to me. Once I looked deeper into it, however, I realized that I hadn’t understood meditation as well as I’d thought. I’d overcomplicated it. Once I committed myself to 30 consecutive days of focused meditation, I began to feel a difference. After a year of practising for 15 minutes a day, I noticed incredible changes within myself. Significantly, I found myself feeling angry far less often – something that had troubled me in the past. My rage was absent during situations identical to earlier events that had provoked an intense emotional response. I also noticed a new ability to remain calm and at peace in the midst of chaos. I had more conscious control over my thoughts. As a result, I felt more joyful more often. I couldn’t ignore these changes. Meditation eases the resistance that your ego creates. This brings a sense of calm, clarity and enhanced patience. I learn profound lessons from intuitive thoughts during my practice, and this access to my inner wisdom illuminates answers to any questions I’ve been struggling with. When I need to raise my vibration, I know that meditation will restore good feelings. This might seem strange. Many people think the goal of meditation is to clear the mind of thoughts. But this is a misconception: actually, meditation is really concentration. Meditation helps you arrive at conscious awareness of the present m; oment – and that’s a powerful tool to use in every part of your life. You practise meditation by being fully present in the moment via your senses, while calmly observing your thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations – from a distance, without judgement. I’d like to take you through a short relaxation meditation that you can do right now. You just need a pen, some paper and a quiet moment. Meditate now – a step-by-step guide Use your intuition to assess your level of energy. How would you rate your vibration level from one to 10, if one is I feel low and I don’t want to do anything, and 10 is I feel great, peaceful and full of joy. Write down the first number that pops into your head – and don’t question it. Now we’ll begin to move to a meditative state. Find somewhere you can completely relax, sitting or standing, with your eyes open at this stage. Wherever you are, become aware of your body. Are you sitting? Are you standing? How does your spine feel? Don’t change anything. Just become conscious of your physical body. Now become conscious of your breathing. Just observe. Let the air go deep into your lungs, and then breathe out. Now, as you take a deep breath, imagine you’re filling your lungs with as much air as possible, then expelling all the stale air as you exhale. Feel your belly moving up and down with every breath. Feel your chest move up and down with every breath. Now look around you. Notice the colours and the patterns you see, without judgement. Just observe. Let your eyes absorb all that’s around you. And then slowly close your eyes. Watch what comes to the screen of your mind. Let your thoughts pass by, no pressure. There’s no right or wrong. Relax your eyelids while you observe what comes and goes within your mind. And keep noticing the pattern of your breath: in, out; expansion and contraction. Listen to the sounds around you. Where do they come from? What are the tones? Are there any sounds that stand out? Can you distinguish between background and foreground sounds? And now you can listen to the sound of your breath. In and out. Bring your awareness to your entire body. Is there any tension? There’s no need to change anything. Simply notice any sensations in your body. Are there any feelings or emotions arising right now? What are they? Where in your body are they located? Observe, feel and listen. Stay still for the next minute. When you’re ready, slowly start to move your hands and feet. And then open your eyes. This is the end of the exercise, so let’s check your level of energetic vibration. How would you rate your vibration level now? Write down your number. Is it higher than before? If not, you can do the exercise again. Eventually you’ll find that this brief practice raises your vibration. If you struggle to remember the steps above, try recording them on your phone so that your voice can guide you through them. Speak slowly and clearly, and allow pauses for silence while you read the instructions. Meditation is far from being complicated. Buddhist master Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche claims that to meditate you need only to be aware of your breath10: when you breathe with awareness, you’re meditating. It’s as simple as that – and that’s why you can meditate anywhere, at any time. Everything and anything done in a state of conscious awareness can be meditation – even the washing-up. Try it for 15 minutes a day, for 30 consecutive days. If that seems too much, start with five minutes and build up gradually. Breathing is such an important part of our life. I mean, really – if we don’t breathe, we don’t live. We inhale and life starts, and as life ends, we exhale. That’s why it’s said that with every breath there’s transformation occurring within us. We die and are reborn with every breath that we take. It’s through breath that we reinforce our vital force, our life energy – often referred as mana, prana, chi or ki, among numerous other names, depending on the spiritual tradition. With each breath, we’re allowing life force energy to enter every cell of our body so it can vibrate with new life. As we take fuller and more controlled breaths, this enables our nervous system to calm us down, increasing our vibration. Meditation breaks down the walls of our conditioned mind and gives us an opportunity to become more authentic. As you meditate more often, you’ll gain perspective on the restricting thoughts you’ve been playing over in your mind. Sort out your nutrition and water What you consume, consumes you; what consumes you, controls your life. Everything you eat and drink is important, as it affects your vibration and reality. Think about it: how can you feel good if you don’t ingest good foods and good fluids? The foods that leave us feeling sleepy and sluggish are those that vibrate at a lower frequency. Hence, when we eat them, our vibration also changes. A lot of these foods are junk foods – and, unfortunately, they’re engineered to taste great. For this reason, some of us tend to overindulge in the bad stuff, and it doesn’t just dampen our mood but also adds on extra pounds and makes us vulnerable to illness. In 1949, a French electromagnetism expert called André Simoneton published his research on the electromagnetic waves of particular foods. He realized that each food not only has a particular amount of calories (chemical energy), but also an electromagnetic power that’s vibrational.9 Simoneton discovered that humans must maintain a vibration of 6500 angstroms for them to be deemed healthy (an angstrom is a unit measuring 100 millionth of a centimetre, used to express the size of electromagnetic wavelengths). Simoneton divided the foods into four categories, according to a scale of zero to 10,000 angstroms. The first category was full of high-vibration foods, including fresh fruits and raw vegetables, wholegrains, olives, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, soy and coconut. The second category had lower-vibration foods, such as boiled vegetables, milk, butter, eggs, honey, cooked fish, peanut oil, sugar cane and wine. The third category consisted of foods with very low vibrations, among them cooked meats, sausages, coffee and tea, chocolate, jams, processed cheeses and white bread. The fourth and final category exhibited practically no angstroms and included margarine, conserves, alcoholic spirits, refined white sugar and bleached flour. Simoneton’s research provides us with insight into which foods are good for our vibration and which ones we should avoid. In addition, as a general rule, good-quality organic produce, as intended by nature, will keep you feeling more vitalized than non-organic foods. The price of organic food can be high but the expense may turn out to be less of a sacrifice than your health, if this deteriorates due to eating unhealthy foods. We should also consider the importance of water. It’s estimated that around 60–70 per cent of your whole body is composed of water, and it’s essential to your body’s functioning: it keeps you hydrated and flushes away unwanted toxins, and this will keep you at a higher vibrational state. If the water balance in your body falls below the necessary amount, your body will react adversely. You may be unable to focus, feel dizzy and even become unconscious. Simoneton’s research showed alcoholic spirits to be very low-vibration, and regular consumption of excessive amounts can be very harmful and even cause death through liver damage. Too much alcohol also creates false perception, which may lead you to behave in a way you normally wouldn’t – this can lead to bad choices that might be damaging to your life. Alcohol might provide a few moments of pleasure, but you must moderate how much of it you consume. Make fresh, filtered water your primary source of fluid. PART SEVEN Pain and Purpose Introduction ‘Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.’ NAPOLEON HILL When trying to manifest your goals, it’s important to keep a high vibration. Feelings are returned on a like-for-like basis, so it’s crucial for you to master everything you’ve learned in the previous sections of this book. However, without doubt, your beliefs are fundamental when it comes to manifestation. If you don’t believe in something, you’ll rarely see it in your life. So let’s spend some time exploring the importance of our beliefs and how they affect our reality. Awareness of the present Every second you spend thinking about the next moment you avoid embracing the present. Ensure your life isn’t lived entirely in your head. With global advances in technology, our society is becoming more engrossed in personal gadgets than in world around them. We hold our phones more than we hold real conversations, and each other. We’re so busy looking down at screens and engaging in digital interactions that we forget about the environment around us. It seems people would rather experience an event through a camera than use their eyes to enjoy what’s in front of them. Concert audiences are lit up by the shimmering of phone screens. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t capture mementos of these precious times. But living through a screen prevents us from being present in the moment. As we continue to distract ourselves from the present moment, we become more anxious, fearful and stressed. Worries overwhelm us in our everyday lives because we’re now conditioned to live elsewhere, rather than right here. What’s more, we ignore the people around us and our personal relationships pay the price. This is often why we feel distressed, disconnected and lost. Our vibration is lowered because we feel like we’re in some imagined situation that doesn’t match up with our lived reality. We relive moments of the past, fear the future and create obstacles in our minds. We devote creative energy to destructive ideas – and this invites turmoil into our lives. Now is the only time you have. Once your past is gone, it doesn’t exist, no matter how many times you recreate it mentally. The future hasn’t even arrived; but again, you keep taking yourself there mentally. Tomorrow comes disguised as today and some of us don’t even notice. Nothing is more valuable than the present moment because you can never get it back. You may create a visual memory that you can retrace, but physically you cannot experience it again. Think about a time when you completely forgot to check the clock or look at your phone. Perhaps you were around the people you love, or doing something you enjoy. You were so engrossed in the moment that you had no time to worry about the past or the future. You were simply enjoying where you were. This is what’s known as being in the present moment. Technology is a tool, not a substitute for living. [image: images] As we’ll explore later in this book, planning for the future is vital in order to meet your goals, but we shouldn’t spend too much time there. When you think about it, the present is still the future, disguised as now. Ten years ago you may have considered the future to be this exact point in your life. The future is today. In my early twenties, if I knew I was going out on a Saturday night, I’d want every other day to hurry up. I was wishing away my precious time – time I’d never get back. Once Saturday arrived, and then passed, I moved on to focus on another day on which I was planning something exciting… and sometimes that was weeks away! This is also the premise of life. Once we’re born, every 24 hours we’re moving one day closer towards our death. The future we’re constantly waiting for arrives only as the present. Once it arrives, it passes by so quickly we don’t even notice. We quickly switch our attention to anticipating the next moment, and then the next, and on and on. This is how most of us live. We wake up to get through the day and then go back to sleep. We do this 365 times a year. We wait for success, love, happiness to show up, never really aware of what we have in the present moment. Eventually, we realize that we’ve never really lived. Or we finally have the riches we wanted yet we can’t enjoy them because there’s always something else to achieve. We make life all about a future that exists only in our imagination and completely miss what’s happening in front of us. We could say the same about the past. Although we might have fond memories that we enjoy revisiting every now and again, we must learn to accept that once the past is gone, it cannot be changed. We can only reconstruct or alter it in our minds. The meditation exercise that I’ll discuss next can help you connect to the present. By developing awareness of the present moment, we can maintain a higher vibration because we avoid being paralysed by past pain or future fear. Going beyond thoughts If you can’t change a situation, change your perception of it. That’s where your personal power is. Either be controlled – or be in control. Growing up, I lived in a somewhat racist neighbourhood. Put it this way: if I wanted to play outside, as kids did back then, I’d spend the first half-hour fighting at least two or three kids. Eventually, I’d be drawn to fight their older brothers, too. When they told me to go back to my own country, I was offended. This was my country and it was my right to be able to play outside. I remember thinking that no one should have the right to belittle me because of the colour of my skin. This thought built up so much rage inside me that, although I didn’t like fighting, I felt – ironically – that fighting was the only way I could defend my freedom and create peace. Every time someone was racist towards me, my automatic response was violence. My violence was born from anger, which is a defence against pain. Yet I wasn’t a violent person; I’d often physically hurt kids and then right away I’d feel guilty and ask them if they were okay. But the notion of violence creating peace is a misconception we commonly observe on the news today. When I won a fight, it only encouraged more people to get involved. Soon enough, I stopped playing outside because the drama wasn’t worth it. Our brains are clever. They want to make life easy for us and to do as little thinking as possible. (This might sound a little strange, especially if you’re a chronic overthinker.) So the brain is optimized to make subconscious decisions based on previous emotions attached to experiences. This autopilot behaviour created by repetition allows us to move through our day without having to relearn processes, such as driving, and without having to think through all the minutia of daily life. However, since our subconscious mind has no awareness, it can unwittingly hold us captive to unhealthy behaviour. The fact that I felt bad every time I reacted violently to the abuse I was subjected to made me realize that I wasn’t my reactions; I was conditioned to react like that by my past experiences, and I didn’t question my reaction because I lacked awareness. You are not your thoughts. You are the witness of each thought. By this principle, I never actually thought, ‘I am angry’; I was simply aware of this thought and emotion. By cultivating this awareness, we can learn to make better decisions as to how to act. How we perceive an event determines how we experience it. Events are neutral, but we give them labels. When a bad event happens, take a pause – and then observe your thoughts. This is making the unconscious mind conscious; replacing thought with awareness. Only once you notice your thoughts can you make a choice as to how you respond. Meditation is a powerful tool for honing this skill. Look at any disempowering thought as not really you and let it pass by. Or select a more empowering thought. For example, if you’ve just lost your job, you could focus on the thought that says you’re going to be unemployed and broke, which will make you feel hopeless and lower your vibration. Or you could focus on the opportunity to find a new job that pays more. The second thought will make you feel better and raise your vibration. This is the practice of living consciously: unlearning and reconditioning the mind so you can have more freedom to be who you really are. It’s not a quick process, but with dedication it will allow you to shift from a cycle of negative thinking to a new mode of positive thinking. In short: rather than trying to control external events, concentrate on controlling how your mind responds to them. This gives you back your personal power and is the key to a happy life. Your goal isn’t to get rid of negative thoughts; it’s to change your response to them. Faith vs fear No matter how much you worry, your problem isn’t going to improve. Be wiser with your attention and energy. You can only step up in the world once you put your anxieties, fears and worries under your feet. Faith is an active choice we make to stay optimistic. It can be extremely demanding to show faith in your goals at times. Fear will creep in and deceive you. It will steer you away from all the greatness that you’re due to be blessed with. Fear is a mechanism that helps us to avoid physical harm or death. Yet we often use it to stay comfortable – to avoid challenges. We utilize it in the wrong way and it just ends up hindering our progress and preventing us from reaching our full potential. Fear keeps our lives mediocre, because it forces us to flee from our potential, rather than from anything truly harmful. Fear sets us back in our everyday lives and controls our choices. We use our precious energy to imagine what could go wrong, instead of having faith in what could go right. And our actions reflect this. Both faith and fear ask you to believe in something that cannot be seen. You may fear stepping outside in the cold because you believe it will make you ill, even if at present you’re not ill and it’s unlikely that exposure to cold would cause illness. This is just a figment of your imagination until it manifests as your reality. We make fear-based assumptions all the time. Unfortunately, when feed these assumptions they expand into our experience. Fear is a low vibrational state and it therefore brings about more of what you don’t want in your life. Unlike faith, it disempowers the mind and this is reflected in your experiences. If you remove fear, your experience improves. For example, a surgeon without fear is likely to be less hesitant and more focused. Their decision-making may be considerably better, resulting in an improved performance. Replacing fear with faith encourages us to do the unthinkable: it helps us to explore the realms of possibility. Faith doesn’t necessarily make things easier, but it does make them possible. When going after your goals, you must have an unwavering faith that can remain sturdy when challenged by venomous opinions or unfortunate twists of fate. The faith I’m talking about is the one that says, ‘I’m going to win,’ when all you can see is losses. Sometimes all we have is our faith – our faith in the fact that things are going to get better. Hang on to it and keep believing, even if that means you’re the only one who does. [image: images] [image: images] [image: images] Changing your beliefs It would be nice to change your beliefs overnight, but this is an astoundingly difficult thing to achieve. As we’ve established, our beliefs are dug deep into the soils of our subconscious mind. When we accept notions without question, we live with them for most of our lives. Some of these ideas make sense to us, but don’t empower us. They limit our potential in life. The first step is to identify which core beliefs you want to change. For example, one of my core beliefs was: ‘I can’t change my future, so I’ll never be able to achieve big things.’ These beliefs didn’t make me feel good, but if I’d tried to change them right away, I’d have felt as though I were lying to myself. After all, these beliefs were my truth. But why did I think they were the truth? When I confronted my restricting beliefs, I discovered that I believed what I did because of what I’d been told by someone I looked up to. They’d told me that everyone is given a specific life and we have no control over it whatsoever. Apparently, some people were just born lucky and others weren’t, and we have to accept it. We shouldn’t waste our time trying to create something different. It was explained much more subtly than I’ve described it. However, not only was this ideology fed into my mind from a young age, but it was also reiterated by everyone around me. And so I believed that I had no power to change the course of my life. As I got older and things got harder, my own beliefs saddened me. I felt I had no alternative and I must live like this because that’s what was intended for me. But I didn’t want to believe this – I wanted a way out. I started to question the validity of my beliefs. I also became sceptical about how credible the source of these beliefs was. Sure, they came from someone who was respected and everyone around me confirmed them, but none of these people were the type of person I aspired to. In my late teens, I wanted to be rich and famous, so I decided to study people who were rich and famous, and see if their beliefs were different from mine. These individuals thought limitlessly. They seemed like positive people, too. They talked about charity, respecting other people, being healthy. Escape your mental limitations. Don’t spend your life being imprisoned by a belief system that limits your potential and prevents your dreams from coming true. [image: images] When I started looking at people who’d accomplished some of the greatest achievements on our planet, the theme seemed to be the same. I also studied some of the most admired spiritual leaders. I found many who stated that our beliefs create the life we experience. I realized that what I’d been taught wasn’t necessarily false; it was true for the person who’d told me it and for others around me. When I looked at the lives of those people, there was a common theme: struggle. They had no reason to believe otherwise. Life hadn’t treated them well, so all they’d known was hardship. Our rational brains try to make sense of life around us. If someone offers a theory that resonates, we accept it as our truth. When I was told that life would be difficult, it was much easier to believe than to question it. I took it on as a truth because it fitted with my life experiences so far. Our beliefs are like a lens we use to view life; we see what we convince ourselves is true. With this realization, I knew that if I could change my beliefs, I could change my life. I wanted to know if there were people out there who were born into circumstances like mine but still managed to achieve great things. Not only were there countless cases of such people, but also many of them were born into worse situations than mine. Reading their success stories disproved everything I’d been conditioned to believe. They helped me to build a solid case against my own rational mind, using evidence. The more stories I read, the firmer my resolve became. I could now accept a new belief: I can change my future and achieve great things. The key point here is that if you want change your belief, you have to disprove your current belief by finding enough evidence to support the belief you want. There are always success stories out there that will assist you in this process. The quick-fix society Patience is a must when pursuing your goals. Your desires can take a while to manifest. If you believe you’re doing everything in your power to manifest your goals, sometimes all you need to do is practise a little patience. Accept today as it is and stay optimistic in the face of delays, setbacks or challenges. Time is the most precious commodity you have. When time is spent, it’s gone forever. This is why businesses that save their customers time often thrive. But while these companies might significantly improve our lives, they’ve also contributed to the creation of a quick-fix society. The quick-fix society demands instant solutions. We expect things to be done straight away. We want to use less effort and less time to get a desirable outcome. Online clothing retailers will get clothes to us the next day. Services like Amazon Prime get all manner of goods to us within a day. If you want to watch a movie or a television show, you can just hop on to Netflix and pick something. If you want a date, you just need to swipe through a dating app. Meals can be replaced by frozen ones that can be heated in a microwave in a few minutes. No more need for patience – we can get what we want without delay. There’s nothing wrong with indulging in these things now and then, but they’ve created a culture of impatience. We don’t want to wait, and if we have to wait we may lose faith in our intentions. The assumption is that things must arrive quickly, with minimal effort. Don’t get me wrong: if you can achieve something great at lightning speed, that’s fantastic. Just don’t be oblivious to the fact that most things in life require effort and patience. This quick-fix way of life encourages us to give up on our goals when they don’t manifest as rapidly as we’d hoped, and move on to the next thing. This will never be fulfilling. A lot of the time, your goals aren’t eluding you; you either haven’t put in the effort you need to or you’re expecting things to happen instantaneously. Practise a little patience. You’ll get the job, the partner, the house, the car, etc. Just don’t rush the process; trust it. You have to grow into your dreams. [image: images] Respect your uniqueness Your individuality is a blessing, not a burden. If you try to be like everyone else, your life will be no greater than theirs. By following the crowd, you’ll become a part of it and fail to stand out. By travelling the same road as them, you won’t get the chance to see anything different from what they see. As young children, we’re regularly reminded that we’re all individuals and should have no shame in being ourselves. We’re encouraged to pursue our wildest dreams! But as we get older, our world of possibility shrinks. People say, ‘Yes, be yourself… but not like that!’ or ‘You can be anything in the world… but this is the right path to take.’ In psychology, the concept of ‘social proof’ suggests that people like to follow the crowd. If everyone else is doing it, you assume it’s the right thing to do. Other people influence your actions more than you realize. For example, if you had to pick between two new bars and you could see that one was packed while the other isn’t, you’d assume that the empty one sucked and the popular one was much better! But just because everyone else is doing it does not mean it’s right. Slavery used to be legal, but now nearly everyone would agree that it’s inhumane, degrading and immoral. Start to question your actions. Why do you do what you do, and choose what you choose? Are you doing what you really think is right, or are you following the crowd? If you discover your choices are frequently dictated by the views of others, you know you’re relinquishing control over your life. Without control, we panic and end up in low vibrational states, such as anxiety. Ultimately, we end up having no control over how much joy we experience, as we become slaves to other people’s opinions. Fear and scarcity are commonly used to control society. I’ve known many people who, instead of living the life they’d have chosen, have lived the life they were told to by others in the form of well-meaning guidance and support. And while some people want what’s best for you, they may not understand what’s best for you. They may also make decisions for you based on fear that’s been passed on to them by someone else. You can listen to the crowd or you can listen to your soul and be on your own stage. [image: images] But you shouldn’t feel like you’re living someone else’s beliefs. You shouldn’t feel like you have to meet everyone else’s expectations or live your life a certain way to gain their approval. You shouldn’t feel like you have to shy away from being who you really are, from your uniqueness. Life shouldn’t feel limiting. The truth is that, either way, you’re going to be judged, whether you live life on your own terms or on other people’s. Someone once said that a tiger doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of sheep. The tiger isn’t swayed by judgements from animals whose behaviour is dictated by social conditioning. The sheep constantly seeks validation, changes direction and loses its own identity; therefore, it remains lost and ill fated. Say the word ‘silk’ 10 times out loud. Now tell me: what do cows drink? Did you say ‘milk’? If you did, you’ve fallen into the trap of a psychological technique called priming. I set you up for a particular answer, even though it’s false. Another example: if I told you a story about how I was lost in the middle of nowhere once and had no idea how to get out, and then told you to complete the word ‘st_ck’, you’d be more likely to say ‘stuck’ instead of ‘stick’. Priming also provides cues to help the memory without realizing the connection. Imagine if you could set people up to think and act in a certain way, without knowing. This is exactly what marketing companies do all the time to increase sales. Authenticity is rare these days, and many of our actions are at the suggestion of someone else. Without drawing you into paranoia, we’re easily reprogrammed to satisfy the needs of another human being – or, indeed, of a corporation. Don’t let your individuality get taken away from you, just so you can fit in with the rest of society. Embrace your uniqueness. Are you considered weird? Awesome! This is only because most people are living inside an imaginary box and you don’t fit in it; and we’re led to believe that when you don’t fit society’s needs, something is wrong with you. Who wants to be bounded by a box that isn’t even there? Not me! Freedom has no constraints. We can always improve ourselves and grow as individuals. We can step out of our comfort zone and challenge ourselves. But society often makes us feel like we’re wrong for just being ourselves. They will call you quiet because you’re perfectly happy in silence. They will call you weak because you avoid conflict and drama. They will call you obsessed for being passionate about the things you love. They will call you rude for not engaging in social pleasantries. They will call you arrogant for having self-respect. They will call you boring for not being extrovert. They will call you wrong for having different beliefs. They will call you shy when you choose not to interact in small talk. They will call you weird because you choose not to conform to societal trends. They will call you fake for trying your best to remain positive. They will call you a loner because you’re comfortable being on your own. They will call you lost for not following the same route as others. They will call you a geek for being a knowledge-seeker. They will call you ugly for not looking like celebrities. They will call you dumb for not being an academic. They will call you crazy for thinking differently from others. They will call you cheap for knowing value for money. They will call you disloyal for distancing yourself from negative people. Let them call you what they want. You don’t have to play the part they want you to play. Create your own part to play in the world. Appreciate your physical beauty It’s great to take care of yourself when it comes to physical appearance. We should always feel comfortable in our own skin and looking after your body is a healthy habit. The fact that you have a body at all is incredible. You’re a reflection of the wonder of nature. Whether you believe in God or not, when the world was created it wasn’t given rules or instructions to help humankind assess what physical beauty is. No – these ideas were formed by us and are today often moderated and manipulated by the mainstream media. You can only recognize your own beauty if you practise self-love, but I’ll be honest with you: it’s difficult. With media platforms playing on our insecurities, it’s hard not to compare ourselves with others. We’re bombarded by images showing people with conventionally attractive bodies. We know that most of these images aren’t real, that they’ve been edited or doctored in order to sell an idea, a product or a dream, but we easily forget this and they quickly magnify confidence issues. We define our physical flaws in relation to what we’re told is the ‘perfect body’. We’re constantly told what beauty looks like and if we don’t question this, these endless messages implant in our heads a subconscious definition of what it means to be beautiful. Anything that doesn’t match the popular definition of beauty appears to us as a flaw and makes us judgemental, always assessing physical beauty against that benchmark. This not only affects how we perceive others, but also how we perceive ourselves. Through my work I’ve been fortunate enough to engage with many young people. Some have a large online following, while others are just typical teenagers. I got to know one of the well-known figures really well, and was sad to learn that she had acquired a lot of hatred as a result of a sharp increase in popularity. When she posted natural shots of herself on social media, she came under fire for being ugly. The pressure of being judged and ridiculed led her to have cosmetic surgery to maintain her public image. Don’t let socially constructed ideas about beauty lower your self-esteem. There are no rules to beauty. Accept and love yourself as you are. Embrace your flaws and get comfortable in your own skin. Wear your imperfections like they don’t need a season to be fashionable. [image: images] But the hate continued. First, she was judged for not appearing perfect by society’s standards, and then she was judged for trying to fix it. The truth is clear: you simply cannot satisfy everyone. I also spoke to a young woman who admired this public figure, and she admitted that she often felt insecure due to comparing her physical appearance with her idol’s. She admitted that this even made her act in unloving ways towards other people – she thought nothing of leaving negative remarks about how other public figures looked, just because they weren’t as beautiful as her idol. I pointed out that similar comments were the reason her idol had resorted to surgery. There’s a culture of negativity swirling around the Internet and even rebounding on those we claim to like. Constant comparison of one human against another drives you into a web of negative and loveless thoughts. Never allow society’s ideals for physical beauty to devalue your existence. Nearly all those ideals are driven from insecurity and a desire to feel more confident – or to sell something. If you think about it, how many businesses would go out of business if you truly accepted yourself? The size of your jeans doesn’t define you. The colour and shade of your skin doesn’t define you. That number on the scales doesn’t define you. Those marks on your face don’t define you. Those expectations don’t define you. Those opinions don’t define you. Your personal beauty isn’t for everyone, and that’s fine. It doesn’t mean you’re less beautiful than any other human being. Perfection is subjective and based entirely on perception. Wear your ‘imperfections’ proudly, because they make you unique. Never stop appreciating your own beauty. If you feel you’d rather be someone other than yourself, you’re not alone. But if you can recognize and embrace your own unique beauty, you can live with authenticity and be proud of who you are. A person who accepts themself as they are can inspire the world. And that can be you. You could show the world how to reach joy through self-acceptance. Be kind and forgive yourself Forgive yourself for the bad decisions you’ve made, for the times you lacked belief, for the times you hurt others and yourself. Forgive yourself for all the mistakes you’ve made. What matters most is that you’re willing to move forward with a better mindset. How often do you find yourself disrespecting your own intelligence when you make a mistake? Do you ever ask yourself discouraging questions like, ‘Why can’t I do this?’ ‘Why am I so ugly?’ or ‘Why do I keep failing?’ That inner voice we have can be very critical. This type of question is often a presupposition, forcing you to accept the ideas in the questions as truth. It’s a highly effective way to put yourself down. But you must make sure the voice in your head is always kind to you. You’ll encounter many people in life who are willing to put you down, but you shouldn’t be one of them. You cannot expect others to be kind to you if you’re not kind to yourself. You have to change your internal dialogue so it supports you in life. Instead of telling yourself that you’re dumb for making a mistake, tell yourself that you’re only human and you’ll do better next time. Your words are creative energy – an idea we’ll expand on in the next section. They’re extremely powerful in either supporting you or limiting your life experience. When you use words to belittle yourself, you diminish your own joy. Do you still punish yourself for the mistakes you made as a child? More often than not the answer is no, because we realize that we were young and naive, and most of us have learned from them. They’ve allowed us to become better. This self-forgiveness should apply to your recent mistakes, too. Every mistake you make can help you to improve as a person. But to make use of the lesson within each of your mistakes, you must first learn to let them go. Accept what has happened. Breathe it in, breathe it out and let it go. You’re only human and you’re allowed to continue with life, regardless of the magnitude of the mistake. Don’t punish yourself for what you’ve done, and instead focus on what you can do better. Beating yourself up will not change the situation. It’s what you strive for next that matters most. Have you ever met someone you haven’t seen for a long time, and they tell you, ‘You’ve grown up so much!’? And if they’d talked to someone else about you before you’d met again, they’d probably have talked about the version of you who they last knew; someone from the past? The truth is that ‘You in the Past’ was probably completely different from who you are now. So if someone judges you for your past, it’s their problem. They’re the ones who are living in a place that no longer exists. If they don’t understand that people grow up and mature, they probably have some growing of their own to do. Don’t let anyone use your past as an excuse to judge you; they’re only trying to restrict you from building a blissful future. Remember that nothing stays the same, including you, and think back to all of your achievements and accomplishments. It’s just as important that you let go of the past, too. People may have done things to you in the past that you feel are unforgivable. You might not even remember what they did, but you hang on to how they made you feel. Attaching yourself to these ill feelings will only be destructive to your mood, dragging your vibration down. When you forgive people you don’t improve the past, you improve your present and future. You give yourself more peace and build more positive energy internally. Those who cannot forgive people who’ve hurt them will only fall victim to them. Imagine having a major fallout with someone because they betrayed you. Initially, you’re livid and hurt. You cut yourself loose from them and eventually you forget about it – until you see them again. At this point you replay memories of what they did to you and your pain returns, because you haven’t actually forgiven them. This will dampen your spirits and could lead you to make destructive decisions. Forgiveness isn’t about condoning someone’s poor behaviour and it doesn’t always mean that you need to invite individuals back into your life; it simply means that you’ll no longer allow them power over your thoughts and control over your emotional state. That way, they cannot dictate your destiny. The Universe is supporting you Don’t worry about how it’s going to happen, otherwise you’ll begin to create limitations. Just be certain about what you want and the entire Universe will rearrange itself for you. Whatever the path you might be on right now, it will support you. It will provide you with the signs to get you to where you want to be. The 13th-century poet Rumi wrote: ‘The Universe is not outside you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you already are.’ Rumi may also have agreed that the only reason the Universe might not be available to you is if you’re not attuned to it. The Universe already exists within you, but it’s not perceivable to you if you’re not vibrating high enough. However, you can bring it to light through your words, actions, emotions and beliefs. The Universe helps us to create, or rather, to bring possibilities into our reality. It gives you signs to follow and sends you ideas to act on. It’s up to you to respond. You might decide your goal is to work for yourself at something you enjoy. Then one day you randomly think of a specific idea, like selling your food recipes online. If you don’t think much of it, you probably won’t act on it; you’ll probably just dismiss it as a passing thought. In the following weeks, you might start coming across bloggers sharing their own recipes. This seems coincidental, so you continue to ignore the signs and instead invest your efforts elsewhere. But by ignoring the signs, you could be missing out on everything you want. Sometimes, we ignore the signs because we think we’re supposed to achieve our goals in a particular way. All I really wanted to do was utilize my creative skills to change the world in a positive way – and, of course, live comfortably. I used to think that the only avenue for this was clothing. Once I let go of the idea of how it was going to happen, I found myself trying out other ideas. Seemingly casual thoughts led me to where I am now. I trust where they’ll take me next, knowing they’ll bring me closer to where I want to be. These days, when terms like the Law of Attraction are thrown around, people assume that your dreams will manifest without any effort on your part. But you must take action on the thoughts and ideas that crop up in your mind; the inspiration that the Universe sends you. They’re nudges from the Universe saying, ‘Go this way! Try this!’ Intention without action is just a wish. A goal only comes to life when you decide to pursue it. The Universe is always supporting you, but you must be willing to do your part in the manifestation process. There’s something missing from the Law of Attraction For the Law of Attraction to work, you have to think positively. However, it’s difficult to stay positive all the time. When things go wrong in life, or they don’t quite turn out how we expect, it’s hard to remain optimistic. Most people saw me as a positive individual. But when things got hard, I was far from it. Anger had always got the better of me. Sometimes, external events would create so much rage within me that I’d want to wreck everything in sight. As a result, I’d enter a downward spiral. I fluctuated constantly from highs to extreme lows. I was like two different people. These inconsistencies were projected onto my life. I’d go through some really good periods and then experience really bad ones. During the bad times, it was impossible to see the bright side of things. I tended to give in and take out my frustrations on the world by smashing up furniture, speaking rudely to others and moaning about how terrible it was to live in the world. During my last year of university, I experienced a massive setback in a group project that counted for a significant percentage of my final grade, when my group became divided over how much of a contribution people were making. I tried to be optimistic about it and expected it to work out in the end. But it didn’t – it got really messy. It suddenly seemed clear that the Law of Attraction didn’t always work. My group was completely divided, arguing constantly over our individual roles and how much effort each member was putting in, just months before graduation. Things got out of control and harsh words were exchanged; unfortunately, there was no way to fix the issue. My friend Darryl and I felt that we were treated very unfairly, but there wasn’t much we could do about it, other than work ten times harder, with looming deadlines that seemed impossible to meet, especially on top of the rest of our workload. We were convinced we’d fail our assignments and exams, and therefore be unable to graduate. It felt like we’d wasted our entire time at university. I had gone to university because I felt like I had to. It was what you were supposed to do if you wanted a good job and a comfortable life – which I hadn’t experienced during my childhood. But deep down I didn’t really want to be there. I didn’t enjoy it. I always knew I wouldn’t end up in a traditional job. I was doing this for my mum more than anything. I’d watched her struggle my whole life and wanted to show her it hadn’t been in vain. Now that I was so close to the finish line, it was all going to be taken away from me. All I could think about was letting my mum down, letting myself down and all the money wasted on a degree that I was going to fail. It was all for nothing. I was overcome by negative thoughts. I told my mum I was going to leave university, as I had no reason to be there. I hated it and it was unfair what I was going through. My rage needed a scapegoat, so I blamed her for everything. Lovingly, she tried to convince me to stay and do the best I could, but in anger I only argued with her even more. I was fed up with the endless problems and I wanted to leave everything behind. I had no reason to live and no purpose in life. My low state even led me to revisit some of my worst memories, which just added more fuel to the fire, convincing me that my life was worthless. What was the point in having dreams if I could never manifest them? I convinced myself I was living a lie and kidding myself that I could do big things. It seemed clear right then: great things were never meant for me. So I trawled through employment websites and applied for a variety of jobs that looked fairly interesting and paid well, even though I wasn’t qualified for them. I thought that if I could land one, I wouldn’t seem like a complete failure and would at least have some money to help out my family with their debt, bills and expenses, including my sisters’ weddings. In my covering letters, I explained that although I was under qualified, I’d be the perfect employee. No one responded. Underneath it all, I knew I couldn’t quit university when I’d already come so far. I’d expended so much energy trying to find a way out of the problem, but now it was time to face what had to be done and hope for the best. But first I had my eldest sister’s wedding to attend. This added more pressure. It meant that I’d have to hand in an assignment earlier than everyone else and take time off university just two months before my final deadlines, which would set me back even more. Stubbornly, I told my family that I couldn’t go to the wedding, even though I knew I’d forever regret missing such an important event. In the end I did go – albeit reluctantly. And soon as I got there, something unexpected happened. I felt calm and relaxed. The wedding was in Goa, India, and it was beautiful. Everyone there was shining bright with happiness and love for my sister and her new husband. Honestly, at this point I wasn’t trying to feel positive. I was comfortable feeling down and feeling sorry for myself, and I wanted others to feel sorry for me, too. But this new environment created a welcome shift in me. For the first time in ages, I felt grateful. I’ll always remember my sister’s wedding. And it taught me a lot about how the Universe operates. On my return home, the positive feeling stayed with me. I felt good, and very calm about the chaos outside me. And my renewed steadiness motivated me to finish what needed to be done. I created a dummy score card that displayed the overall mark I would receive for my degree. I’d stare at this for a few minutes each day while pretending that the impressive grade on the scorecard was real. I didn’t quite believe that I’d achieve it; it was merely a desire. But I did believe that I would do well, nonetheless. I made up my mind to go to the library every single day, for hours on end. I put in the huge amount of extra work needed to complete the group assignment, and more. During my breaks I took time to chat with positive people who were able to make me feel good about myself. One of them was the woman I’d eventually fall in love with for life. When it came to exam time, handing in assignments and doing final year presentations, I was confident that I’d done enough. As it turned out, I didn’t quite get the marks that were on my dummy score card, but I did pass comfortably. And I aced one of the hardest exams on my course, which came as a surprise. I went on to have similar successes by using the Law of Attraction. But, overall, the results were hit and miss. I knew I was missing something. When I found out what this was, I began to have more consistent success. I was able to test this on others, to see if they’d also benefit from my discovery – and they did. In fact, many of them were able to do things that had once seemed impossible. Not everything I’ve wanted has manifested. This has usually been a blessing in disguise. Too many times I’ve believed that I wanted and needed something, but it was for all the wrong reasons. Over the years I’ve gained clarity and sighed with relief for not getting what I thought was surely meant for me. Often, I’ve not got what I wanted, only to find I’ve later been blessed with even more. Surround yourself with positive people Surround yourself with people who are vibin’ higher than you. Be around people who are feeling better than you are. Energy is contagious. When you’re not feeling too good, try being around people who are. They’re vibrating higher than you and there’s a good chance that you can absorb some of their energy. Just as the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii has been found by researchers to draw energy from other plants,5 my experience suggests that there’s great potential for humans to do something very similar. Have you ever met someone for the first time and felt like something isn’t quite right about them? You can’t quite put your finger on it but you just get a bad vibe, and usually you find out later on that there was a good reason for this feeling. Energy doesn’t lie. You’ve probably experienced the opposite, too. There are certain people who we identify as being full of positive energy. They always seem to infect those around them with their good vibes. I’ve changed my emotional state many times just by being around cheerful people. Positive people can also provide empowering perspectives on our problems. Being in a positive state, they’re more likely to have an optimistic outlook on what we’re going through. They’ll try to look for the positives in the situation and help us change our focus to something that lifts our vibe. So, make a commitment to build meaningful and lasting relationships with positive people. When you spend more time with people who add value to your life and elevate your mood, you’ll begin to adopt their encouraging thinking patterns and reflect their vibrations back at them. The Law of Vibration suggests that we attract people who are vibrating on the same frequency as us. So, if we can begin to experience more positive emotions on a regular basis as a result of other people, we’ll attract even more positive people into our life, thus reinforcing the good vibes around us. Facing family You can outgrow clothes, hobbies, jobs, friends – and even family members. We evolve past things that don’t contribute to our joy and wellbeing. Just because they’re your family, it doesn’t mean they have the best intentions for you. Many of us are taught that there’s nothing more important than family. But biological relationships don’t always equal supportive, close relationships. Friends can be more like family than family itself. We shouldn’t conceal the fact that sometimes it’s our own family members who are the most toxic people in our lives. Ending these relationships can be the most heartbreaking because, let’s face it, these people often mean the most to us, even if they do continuously put us down. It’s hard to justify ending a relationship with your parents, for example, if they’ve done a lot for you throughout your life. Sometimes, you don’t have to. You simply need to communicate and tell them how you feel. You’ll be surprised by how many people are oblivious to their toxic behaviours towards others. When they find out that they’re actually hurting you, they may very well change their ways. We can also try to understand their intentions. Most of our loved ones do genuinely have good intentions for us. They want to see us happy, successful and prosperous. But they can be misled or limited in their view, which sometimes comes across as being negative. A friend had an exciting idea about an online business he wanted to pursue, and looked for his parents’ approval. To his dismay, their reaction wasn’t quite what he’d hoped for. They ridiculed his idea and tried to talk him out of it; they simply couldn’t understand how it could be profitable. Instead, they suggested that he stopped living in dreamland and focused on studying and getting the grades he needed to go to university. He felt that his belief in his brilliant idea was dampened by their scepticism. This wasn’t the first time either. He felt as though his parents were always knocking his aspirations, and as a result he perceived them as being negative towards him. He didn’t want to shut his parents out of his life, because he loved them – and lived with them. But at times he felt they didn’t love him! What he failed to understand was that although his parents were critical, it wasn’t entirely their fault. Their ideas about what was feasible in life and what success looked like were different from his. Their beliefs, shaped by their experiences and social conditioning, meant they had a different outlook on life. To recognize love in spite of criticism, you have to understand that everyone’s perspective – including your own – is limited and subjective. We all constantly gather information from everywhere, and everything we learn has an impact on what we believe and how we think – but this depends on exactly what information we’ve picked up. If no one in your family has ever seen success by skipping university and starting an online business, the prospect of you doing this is completely new to them and may be rejected out of hand. People tend to fear what they can’t understand. So make an effort to understand where your loved ones are coming from and what may be the root of their concern or cynicism. Most people have believed the things they do for many years. You cannot expect them to drop their beliefs in an instant because of how you perceive the world. If you feel that they’re being held back by their beliefs, you can offer an alternative perspective, but you can’t force your beliefs on someone else. If you want their support, you have to build their trust. This is your task, as much as it’s theirs. Try to be open with them; talk to them and tell them how you feel. Involve them in your plans: give them more information or explain your alternative view; reassure them that you’ve thought about what will happen if you fail. You need to minimize their fear so that they have more faith. When they have more faith, they’re more likely to show the positive support that you want. My friend showed his parents an exact plan of what he wished to do, examples of success stories and even teachings by iconic figures who his family valued that supported his views. Gradually, he helped them change their outlook. If you find yourself in a similar position, it’s up to you to show your doubters that you’re doing everything in your power to make your chosen path worthwhile. If you don’t prove that you’re serious about what you want to do, you can’t expect other people to be serious about it either. Don’t underestimate the power of leading by example. If it’s the limited thinking of the people around you that makes them cold towards you, show them that they could break free from this unhappy state of being. Be open-minded and do your best to be warm towards them. Show them how one should behave, even if being treated unfairly. Your faith and determination may, gently and gradually, inspire a change in them. They might see how great you are as an individual and how rewarding it is to be like you! Sometimes, simply by shifting our perspective and focusing on the positives we see in people who challenge us, we’re able to feel better about our relationship with them. This is especially useful when you’re living in the same house as those who dampen your spirit. This doesn’t provide a full fix, but if you appreciate the good in them and create some distance until things improve, this can be a catalyst for healing. It’s vital to remember that you cannot change others unless they want to change themselves. You can influence them and facilitate change, but you cannot make them change. And they’ll only decide to change when they have an incentive – such as a better life or a better relationship with you. If they don’t identify a problem with their way of being, they won’t be motivated to change. In some cases, a family member’s behaviour can be extreme, such as inflicting physical or emotional harm. We weren’t placed on this planet to suffer at the hands – or words – of another person, regardless of our relationship with them. And pretending someone’s harmful behaviour is okay is in itself harmful. If you need to cut someone off because of continued destructive behaviour, then do it with no regrets. PART THREE Make Yourself a Priority Lessons will repeat themselves Life conditions you. It swings at you, it kicks you while you’re down and it stamps on you. And yet you survive and walk around as the new and improved version of yourself. Because the challenges that some people still find hard, you have overcome. The next time you pray for your situation to change, realize that you’re in that situation so that you can change. Life provides us with lessons that we can handle and that will bring out the best in us. It then tests us to make sure we’ve learned our lesson. Some of these tests are cruel and some are quite lenient. Occasionally we experience the same obstacles over and over again, because we still have learning to do. It might be that we haven’t learned our lesson properly. The best way to confirm if someone has learned their lesson is to test them more than once, further down the line. I could give you a lesson now, and as it would still be fresh in your mind, you’d probably be able to pass a test on it quite easily. However, if I gave you the same test a few months later, it would be more challenging. This would be a true test of whether or not you have understood what you’ve been taught. For example, if you rush a relationship with someone you hardly know and then end up getting hurt, the lesson might be that you need to get to know someone before you jump into a relationship with them. Just saying that you’ve learned your lesson is not always enough – you have to prove it. So the Universe might then introduce you to someone else, someone who has irresistible charm. To prove that you’ve learned your lesson, you have to show it. If you jump into another relationship quickly, then there’s a chance you might get hurt again. While you should take this example lightly, I hope you can see that sometimes we’re given the same test more than once, and it can be even harder the second or third time round. Procrastination will delay your dreams Procrastination is a habit. If the task ahead of you seems so insurmountable that you don’t know where to start, you’ll put it off – again and again; perhaps you choose a distraction as being more favourable or comfortable. It’s important to kill this habit if you want to manifest your goals. Do it before procrastination becomes the assassination of your dreams. Behaviours of chronic procrastinators include: putting things off until a later date or the last minute carrying out less urgent tasks before urgent ones getting distracted before or while doing something facing things only when they’re unavoidable claiming that you haven’t got time to do something waiting for the right time or mood to do something not completing tasks at all Does this sound like you? Procrastinators avoid things that require action. Some of us do everything apart from what we need to do in order to be in harmony with our goals. For example, when typing up an essay for a deadline, a procrastinator might first browse the Internet and waste precious time. We don’t just procrastinate over small tasks, but over our biggest goals, too. My friend Tony’s mentoring client, Malcolm, is a clear example of someone who procrastinated before taking action on his dreams. Malcolm was fearful, unwilling to leave his comfort zone, and overanalytical. These are common traits in chronic procrastinators. These qualities led him to deviate from the path to achieving his goals. The story with Malcolm began when he first went to see Tony for support to reach his goal – something he really wanted: to start his own business. It would need his full-time commitment, which meant he’d have to leave his current job. Malcolm feared what he couldn’t understand, which was how he would make a viable income with his business idea. He lacked self-belief. He doubted his own potential and he didn’t want to feel uncomfortable by compromising his existing lifestyle. He told himself that he was being unrealistic, so he hadn’t pursued his passion. After Tony had set Malcolm on the path to starting his business, Malcolm suddenly convinced himself that he didn’t have enough information to get it going. He felt that he needed to do more research, which required more time. He believed this because, again, he feared failure. Research is, of course, crucial if you intend to start a successful business, so his intentions were reasonable. The problem was that he did have all the information he needed; he was using an imagined need for further research as an excuse to delay taking action. Malcolm was eager to start his own business, and he believed it would add value to the world, but sadly he lacked the confidence to take the leap and get started. After spending months researching every detail of his plans, Malcolm concluded that his idea was pointless. He wrote it off completely. He’d managed to talk himself out of it. This came as a shock to Tony, because he could see that Malcolm’s idea had great potential and that he was committed to it. But this wasn’t the end. Time went by and Malcolm’s job was made redundant. Instead of finding another employer, Malcolm decided to invest his redundancy money into his thoroughly researched business idea. This time he had no choice but to make it work; he needed an income to live on. With a bit of capital to work with and no other option, Malcolm finally took action. His business eventually became a success. If he hadn’t been made redundant and received his payout, he might never have started his business. Now Malcolm realizes that he was held back by fear and wishes he’d started his business earlier. You don’t need it all figured out. The more you think you do, the more you’ll procrastinate and fear moving forward. Have courage and start now, even if you start small. Just go for it! When you find yourself procrastinating, it’s important to devise a strategy to overcome this. It’s easy to do this for smaller goals, like completing an essay, but it’s more challenging with bigger goals, like creating a successful online business. So break your goals down. Big goals can be overwhelming, and it’s hard to imagine how you’ll ever cross the finish line. It’s more effective to set smaller goals and prioritize them in order of urgency. If the goals still seem big after you’ve made them smaller, break them down further. If you can meet smaller goals, you’ll become more confident about bigger goals. Even if you’re trying to manifest money, start by making the goal a fraction of the desired amount. So, if the goal is to have £10,000, work on making £100 to begin with. After you make £100, you can try to make another £100 until you reach your target amount. We have four types of feel-good hormones in our body: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins. Dopamine, in particular, encourages us to take action towards our goals and provides us with feelings of pleasure when we achieve them. When we lack enthusiasm for a task, it means our dopamine levels are low. When you break big goals down into smaller ones, you overcome this. Your brain will celebrate every time you meet a goal by releasing dopamine. You’ll then be encouraged to take further action on the rest of your goals. If your final goal is time-sensitive, make sure each smaller goal has a deadline on it. You can only meet big goals on time if your smaller ones are done on time, too. If you still struggle to beat procrastination, try the following techniques: Get rid of every distraction possible, even if this means changing your environment. Have you ever been hungry and ended up snacking on something unhealthy just because it was there? If it wasn’t there, the temptation wouldn’t exist. We get distracted by things that are easily available to us. Give yourself an incentive to complete the task. For example, tell yourself you can meet with your friends later if you finish whatever needs to be done. This will give you something to look forward to and motivate you to take action. Take breaks to do something enjoyable. We all need a little time out when working, but make sure your breaks are for a fixed duration. If you want to watch a new episode of a show, schedule a period for it and don’t exceed it. Get creative. Make your tasks more appealing. When doing activities that don’t require much thought, you could play music in the background. This will raise your vibration. Singing along might make the activity even more enjoyable. Get some help if required. Never be afraid to ask for help. Talk to someone who’s recently accomplished a similar goal to you. This may provide much-needed inspiration and they may be able to give you valuable guidance. Give yourself a consequence for not taking action. For example, you could tell yourself that if you don’t go to the gym today, you can’t watch television for the entire week. To ensure you don’t go back on what you say, make sure you tell others about it. This leads me to my final point… Announce your intentions to some trustworthy friends. This will give you some accountability; they’ll know if you don’t stick to your plans, and they might even give you a little push to ensure that you achieve what you set out to do. The easy route I find that a lot people know what to do, but they still don’t do it. They rely on justification or an easier solution because the real solution seems too long-winded. Some people would rather use their energy to find a way to use less effort for the same result. Working smarter is essential for effective productivity, but even finding a solution to work smarter requires a lot of effort. We must come to terms with the idea that some things have to be done the difficult way. For example, if you want to lose weight, you have to create a calorie deficit by either increasing physical activity, improving your diet, or both. Most people know they need to do these things but they don’t commit to them. Instead, they’ll look for a magic pill or another shortcut to solve their problem. They spend excessive time, energy and money on trying out different miracle cures, when they could have achieved much more if they simply decided to apply some effort. Other people in this situation may do nothing at all. They want to lose weight and they’ll moan about it, but they don’t take any action. Many of us will label these people as lazy. People usually act in this way because of two things. One is that they simply don’t believe that they can achieve the results that they want to, so they’re defeated by the idea of it straight away. The second is that they find the idea of working for the result too painful. People won’t want to take action on things if they perceive the process of achieving the results as being too hard. The idea of going to the gym or eating healthily may seem much more painful than remaining how they are. So these people take no action. They tend to stick with easier and more comfortable options – but rarely do we grow within our comfort zone. Sadly, many will wait until they have no other option before they commit to changes, when you see your current situation as being more painful than going through whatever it takes to get what you desire. Great pain and pressure can force great changes to occur. This is the same reason why people will put up with toxic relationships until they reach breaking point. They may find the idea of being single and lonely more daunting than putting up with their abusive partner. Step out of your comfort zone and face your fears. Growth takes place when you are challenged, not when you are comfortable. [image: images] If you want something enough, you’ll take action on it. But don’t wait for your pain threshold to be tested. This will only delay results in the manifestation process. Start asking yourself how badly you want to achieve your goals. Do you want them more than you fear the process of getting there? Notice the warning signs You don’t get into a car immediately worrying that you’re going to have a crash. That would be a very fearful way to live life and it would drive you insane. However, you could still take measures, such as wearing a seatbelt, to prevent serious injury if an accident did happen. This action, too, may result from fear, but this is why fear exists: to protect us from danger. If you caused a car accident because you consumed too much alcohol but you survived, it would be even more irresponsible for you to do it again. If you did, you’d be volunteering for another accident, which could potentially lead to your death. In other words, you’re ignoring the lesson and suggesting to the Universe that you should receive that lesson again. So pay attention to the warning signs. You’re always being guided by the Universe to live authentically and purposefully, and to experience the greater things in life. But if something doesn’t go the way you wanted, ask yourself what you can learn from it – because every bad experience has a learning outcome to be taken on board. Ask yourself what changes you need to make. And don’t mask unhealthy choices with optimism when you know they’re not right, or let emotional cravings and temporary comfort inspire you to venture for more pain. If you keep taking a bite out of the cake that harmed you, you no longer fall victim to it, you become a hungry volunteer. [image: images] PART SIX Manifesting Goals: Taking Action Achieving true happiness Happiness doesn’t come from other people, from places or things. It comes from within. I’ve deliberately minimized the use of the word ‘happiness’ throughout the book so that I could leave it right until the end. I hope you can see that by raising your vibration and having feelings of joy, you’re actually experiencing happiness. We’re led to believe that happiness is based on external influences: people, places or things. We have all these goals and desires in life, believing that once we achieve them, we’ll be happy forever: when we find someone to love, we’ll be happy; when we get our own house, we’ll be happy; when we lose 20 pounds, we’ll be happy. These may give you temporary happiness but this is fleeting – it doesn’t stay with you. So once you acquire these things, you carry on pursuing lasting happiness from other external things. Money, for example, is frequently linked to happiness and even success. But you’ll learn from the richest people in the world that even with lots of money you can still experience sadness. If money was used to measure happiness and success, at what point would the scale begin and end? After all, numbers never end. You can easily want more and more, even once you identify your target. So you can’t use it as a tool for measurement. I explained at the beginning of this book that we pursue things because we believe they’ll make us happy when we get them. The same applies to the money we want: we don’t want the money itself, but we do want the security and freedom it will give us, because we believe that this will make us happy. But if you were the only person on the planet and you had unlimited access to money, how useful would this be? How about being able to afford any holiday or crazy adventure you wanted, but having extremely poor health? What about being able to buy all that you ever wanted, but being neglected by the entire world? Or even being given an unlimited supply of money while working in the worst job ever, 20 hours a day? Even your ideal partner has no control over your lasting happiness. They can only affect your relative happiness, which can vanish in seconds if external conditions change – if your partner acts in a way that you perceive as hurtful, for example. The advertising industry is skilled at toying with your happiness because it preys on the knowledge that all of us want to be happy. ‘Buy this and you’ll be happy,’ it says. You buy it, and then six months down the line they release a new version. You then realize that the previous product failed to give you long-lasting happiness, so you buy the new one in the hope that it will instead. The cycle repeats. What if you could feel happy all the time? Isn’t this the ultimate goal? It would mean that you’re happy with what you’ve got at any moment – for the rest of your life. We could then say that lasting happiness is what true success looks like. This is what true happiness is. It’s lasting and it occurs when you remain at the highest frequency, despite everything that’s happening at the surface level of your life. I believe that this is the place we all want to be at; where people and events are unable to change our emotional state from our natural state of love and joy. To sustain happiness, you must work towards self-mastery. It’s an inward journey that requires substantial spiritual growth. Choosing empowering thoughts over limiting ones should become your natural way of thinking. You must make it a habit to look on the bright side of things and let go of the past; to stop living in the future and appreciate where you are and what you have right now; to withdraw from comparisons, and love everything in this world without condition. Embrace what is. Be happy. Handling negative people Not everyone is going to get you, accept you or even try to understand you. Some people will just not receive your energy well. Make peace with that and keep on moving towards your joy. Nearly every single person in the world, no matter how kind or amazing they’re perceived to be by the majority, will have at least one person who dislikes them. Only if you stayed alone in your house all day and no one saw you, spoke to you or knew of your existence, would no one would show hatred towards you. You acquire haters by being a somebody. I receive negative remarks from people every now and then, even if I’ve done a good deed. This is partly because this kind of abuse is so common online in general, particularly since people don’t have to reveal their identity. Online they’re free to leave bitter remarks – things that they wouldn’t dream of saying in real life – without having to take any responsibility for their words. I remember the first time I was mocked. It was when I was five years old. I was in school and our class had to describe our parents. Everyone in my class described both their mum and dad. When it was my turn, I described my mum and not my dad. This invited questions from other kids, who asked me what had happened to my dad. I didn’t know what to say, and fortunately my teacher intervened. Truthfully, I had no idea that children were supposed to have two parents. I was used to having only my mum and I hadn’t questioned it. At breaktime, some of the kids in my class started mocking me. They said things like, ‘He hasn’t even got a dad.’ ‘His dad is probably dead.’ ‘His mum is his dad.’ I became more and more wound up, and reacted with violent aggression. I got into deep trouble, despite telling the teacher why I’d done what I did. If I hadn’t been to school, I wouldn’t have had that experience. Even when we’re really young, it’s usually a lack of understanding and compassion that creates hatred towards others. If people aren’t the same as us, we’re more likely to label them as misfits and to mock them. And the more people we’re exposed to, the higher our chances of receiving judgement and criticism. This is because we’re now in front of a large audience of individuals, each with their own perceptions of what normal is. Just think about celebrities. They’re only human, but because they reach so many people, they receive tremendous amounts of criticism. We talk about kindness to others but exclude celebrities as if they’re not human. Sadly, everyone has their gospel but fails to practise what they preach. They’re the same people reading and reciting holy words, with unholy behaviours. They’re the same people who believe they’re on a righteous path, but will judge others for not being on the same path as they are. Remind yourself that negativity from others is unavoidable. With our constant exposure to the rest of the world, and our interactions with it, we’re bound to face some people who have a low vibration and act unkindly towards us. Trying to keep your distance from such people can become a huge ask when there’s very little you can do to avoid them. Here are some important reminders to help you remain peaceful when people speak negatively about you. You’ll begin to realize that the best defence is silence and joy. ‘Nobody can hurt me without my permission.’ MAHATMA GANDHI Misery loves company Unfortunately, people who are vibrating at a low frequency often want to drag others down to their level. Sometimes they’ll try to expose what’s wrong with you, because they can’t handle everything that’s right with you. They probably won’t like it when others show you love or give you attention, and their resentment will probably build when, despite their efforts to make others hate you, they still love you. The Internet is full of people who enjoy seeing other people being ridiculed and kicked while they’re down. They’re quick to accept negative assumptions and eager to celebrate failures. People who have made mistakes or fallen on hard times rapidly become trending topics due to a cultural addiction to the downfall of others. People oppose progress When you’re making noise, someone will try to turn down your volume. When you’re shining bright, someone will try to dim your light. It’s simple: if you weren’t standing out from the rest, people would have no reason to hate. These haters are often individuals who feel threatened, jealous or hurt by our confidence as we strive for greatness. They may feel that our success will limit theirs, or fear losing their place to us. They may dislike the idea that our confidence leads us to be celebrated when they strongly desire their own praise. They may be offended by our unrestricted beliefs if theirs are constrained by a conditioned mind that feels powerless to change anything. They want to dampen our will and drive so that their ego doesn’t feel overshadowed. By belittling us, they believe they won’t feel so little themselves. These people exist and they’ll show up on our path to a greater life. We mustn’t deny their existence, but we mustn’t react either. A reaction is exactly what they want to make us feel down and protect their ego. Hurt people hurt other people The way people act towards the outside world illustrates what’s going on in their inner world. When someone attempts to make you feel inadequate, it’s because they feel inadequate themselves. Understanding this will help you handle related situations more effectively. For example, sadness makes people act bitterly and without love; pain and internal suffering claw us into a low vibration. It causes a domino effect of hurt, because all too often people aren’t in a good mood because they’ve been hurt by someone else who wasn’t in a good mood. These newly hurt people then hurt other people, and on it goes. But trying to heal pain by inflicting it on others doesn’t work. The Indian guru and spiritual teacher Osho once likened this to banging on a wall. His view was that attacking others to relive your pain is like someone being angry and then taking it all out on a wall, trying to cause it damage. They don’t define the wall and the wall doesn’t have the problem – they do. Eventually they’ll end up more hurt, even though the wall has not hurt them itself. Disliking difference People tend to feel drawn towards individuals who resemble them in some way. This is demonstrated by a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) technique called mirroring, which shows that mimicking an individual’s behaviours encourages them to like you. So, if you’re generally loud, bubbly and full of life, and you come across someone similar, you’d probably think they’re pretty cool. And if their speech patterns, body language and tone are similar to yours, you might think, ‘You know what, there’s something about this person I really like.’ That’s because they’re just like you. We can also assume the opposite to be true: people tend not to feel an affinity with individuals who are different from them. And someone different from you might think you come across as a bit strange or ‘out there’. Ultimately, they won’t understand you, or want to understand you, because your energy doesn’t match theirs. What goes around comes around You’ve probably heard the word ‘karma’. Many people are uncomfortable with this term because it’s a theological concept (found in the Buddhist and Hindu religions, among others) that involves reincarnation. The belief is that your actions will have ramifications on your next life cycle; the more good deeds you do in this life, the better your next life will be. Whether or not you believe in reincarnation, most of us accept the notion that one reaps what one sows. In science, we might recognize this as ‘cause and effect’, or relate it to Newton’s third law – ‘For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.’ And if you look through the majority of religious texts, you’ll find a reference that relates to the idea that what goes around comes around. But when people treat us unfairly, we rarely reassure ourselves that karma will catch up with them and just move on with our lives. Instead, we get caught up in our emotions while our rational mind takes a back seat. For example, if someone is going around saying you’re violent when you’re clearly not, you might feel offended. If they persistently do this, you may feel anger building inside you. One day, you might get sick and tired of the accusations and react violently. Even if the rumour isn’t true, your actions have now made it look as though it is. Earlier, we learned that actions driven by a low vibrational state, such as anger, will only hurt us further, and that includes the bad karma these actions will create. So don’t allow the cruelty of others to define your future. The lonely and bored crave attention When your life isn’t interesting, you tend to focus on other people. You seek excitement and attention from hating others and provoking reactions. This is why memes are so popular on the Internet. People want others to laugh at their attempts at mocking someone else. They’ll do it for likes, comments and shares – for instant gratification. This will make them feel good for a short time and as if they’re doing something worthwhile. Which leads to my final point… What people say about you says more about them than about you When others judge you, they reveal themselves. They show their insecurities, needs, mindset, attitude, history and limitations. And they paint a clear picture of their future: they won’t go very far, or live a joyful life, if they’re wasting their precious time judging others. Being there for others Earlier, I wrote about the importance of being around people who are in a more positive mood than you, vibrating higher, if you want to feel good. This is often a great solution, but can, naturally, have a downside for those with the higher vibration. They may find that when they’re there for someone who isn’t feeling great, they find it difficult to remain stable in their own emotional state. Spending time with someone who’s searching for higher vibes can pull them down. You may feel like this when a friend explains all their troubles to you and sadness suddenly spreads through your body. It’s catching. I learned this lesson at university when a flatmate of mine was feeling low after being heartbroken by a girlfriend who’d ended their relationship. One night while we were out with friends, he went back to the flat early, distraught about the break-up. The girl who he was heartbroken over became extremely worried from the texts he was sending her that he’d do something to harm himself. She let us know so we could check on him. When my friends and I got back to the flat, his door was locked and his music was turned up loud. We kept knocking on his door, but he wouldn’t let us in. We started to panic and called the caretaker, who had a spare key to his room. As we entered, we saw him curled up in bed with tears running down his face. We took a closer look at his wrists and saw the marks of what appeared to be self-inflicted cuts. In that moment, we realized that he was so low that he wanted to end his life. Fortunately, our entrance interrupted his desperation and we were able to console him. Over the next few days, there was a very strange vibe in our flat. Everyone was shaken. The flatmate who’d attempted to take his own life didn’t say much about the incident, but he did want to spend time with me. I spent my evenings with him, offering support and trying to offer gentle advice to make him feel better. But after a while, I realized that I didn’t feel like my normal self; I was starting to feel really down. I realized that as much as I wanted to be there for him, I had to think about myself, too. I felt empty, and I couldn’t pour from an empty cup. Before you try to fix someone else’s vibe, make sure you’re not killing your own in the process. Protect your own energy first. [image: images] I created some distance between us for a while, keeping our interactions to a minimum. Inside, I was punishing myself for not being there for him more; I felt that I had to be God-like and simply accept it. However, I was already torn apart and I knew that unless I felt good in myself, I just wouldn’t be able to offer him proper support. I’d feel hypocritical for offering comfort when I was distraught myself. He seemed to be doing okay and this gave me a little peace of mind. Eventually, I was able to get my vibration up and be there for him more effectively. This was many years ago and since then a lot has changed. For one, I have a much greater depth of awareness and understanding. I’m fortunate to be in the position where many thousands of people feel they can share their problems with me, but because of what I’ve learned I can now keep my vibration steady, even if someone else’s vibration is very low. There are exceptions and I’m still careful to protect my energy from people who want to drain it or abuse my willingness to help them. If my emotional state isn’t high enough to start with, I know that by trying to help someone who is feeling low, I may suffer a profound emotional impact. If you’re listening to someone ranting on about how troublesome their life is and you’re not feeling great yourself, you could be heading for a major energy drain. Although lending an ear can be helpful, increasing the number of unhappy people in the world doesn’t benefit anyone. The wisest thing for you to do in this situation is to change your state by vibrating as high as you can. This is how you protect your own vibration. By doing this, you build the strength needed to help others. Swap short-term pleasures for long-term gains You’re not missing out on anything great if you’re using that time to make your life greater. These days, I tend to party only when there’s something to celebrate. But in my late teens and early twenties, I went to a lot of clubs in a lot of places. I even flew all the way to Cancún in Mexico from the UK just to experience the infamous American spring break. I was living for the moment. This is important because, as we’ve learned, we only ever have this current moment and we should enjoy it. But a healthy balance between living for the moment and investing in the future is always required when you have goals. When I was working in an office, every Friday I used to get that feeling of excitement because I knew I was going to celebrate a weekend free from work. I began living for the weekend, even though I knew there was more to life. The weekend was the time to reward myself. I’d get intoxicated and spend my hard-earned money in nightclubs. In the moment, when I was drunk, I felt great! But this is what my actions were really saying: Look at me! I’m working for hours on end in a job I don’t really like, for someone who doesn’t respect me. Therefore, I’m living for the weekend, to celebrate my freedom and spend my hard-earned cash on overpriced lethal substances that come in fancy bottles. This way I can feel better about life for a moment, by escaping the reality I face during the working week while impressing people who might be in a similar predicament. Deep down, I was always wondering when my life would start to resemble my vision of having my own business, doing something I loved. I expected it to transform by pure chance. I’d continually complain that I had no money to put towards my dreams. It was ironic, but I know I’m not alone. People often complain that they don’t have the time or the money to start their own business, while simultaneously spending lots of time and money on leisure activities. In some places, a single glass of an alcoholic beverage costs more than a book. Which one is more likely to change your life? People invest in the wrong places, and often they unwittingly fund someone else’s dreams; someone who’s worked their ass off and has now manifested their goals thanks to your spare cash. There are so many individuals living like I was. And if it’s not partying, it’s something else. Yes, we should enjoy our lives and make the most of every moment. However, giving up what you want most for what you want now can deprive you of life’s real treasures. I believe that everyone is destined for a greater life. Yet I understand that many people are unwilling to delay brief gratification for the sake of long-term rewards. When you’re unwilling to delay temporary pleasures, this can have massive implications for your future. Most people are living the ‘When I have X, I’ll be happy’ way of life, but this is a delusion. However, you can have pleasure in the present by living mindfully, appreciatively, and altering your perspective. You’re free to make your own choices, but you can’t escape their consequences. Sometimes we have to sacrifice small things to get our hands on the bigger blessings in life. I’m not saying you should ignore all of your urges or stop having fun. But form a healthy balance between work and play while moderating where you’re placing your time and energy. Celebrate your achievements We assume success is about being famous, rich and owning expensive things. But if you’ve pulled yourself out of a dark place, that’s a great success in itself. Don’t forget that you’re winning each day you don’t give up and you make it through to the next. Did you know that you’re achieving great things every day? It probably doesn’t seem like it if you’re always looking ahead to the next thing. Nevertheless, many of the things you’ve achieved today are things you dreamed about in the past. You just don’t notice them in the moment they happen. Or they pass you by too quickly. Although we shouldn’t get so comfortable with our achievements that we become complacent and stop moving forwards, we should make time to celebrate them. Otherwise you’ll look back on your life and think you didn’t do anything significant. But if this were true, your life would always have remained the same. We’re too hard on ourselves. We remember everything that we’ve done wrong, but hardly ever think about the things we’ve done right. Does that sound familiar? If it does, it’s because you’re too self-critical. You have to give yourself a pat on the back every now and then. You’ve done things some people said you couldn’t do. You’ve done things even you thought you couldn’t do. Be proud of yourself. You’ve fought hard to get where you are today. Acknowledging this will bring contentment and raise your vibration. Introduction Higher states of vibration will help you feel good, which means you can manifest more good things in your life. Your aim is to feel better by vibrating higher. There are many lifestyle habits that will help you do this and bring you closer to a more loving and joyful state. You can change your emotional state through all sorts of activities that will raise your vibration, some of which will have a lasting effect while others may make you feel good only in the moment. For example, if you feel upset because you’ve fallen out with a friend, you might be able to change your emotional state by doing something fun with other friends instead. Other ways you might raise your vibration include physical touch with a loved one, laughing, listening to uplifting music, spreading kindness, sleeping deeply, moving your body or any other activity that you enjoy. But afterwards you might be left to face your misery again. Nothing has improved in your mind; you have just temporarily avoided the problem. Alternatively, the practice of meditation can, over time, completely change the way your brain functions. Meditation and the introspective act of studying your low-vibration emotions can help you transform these to higher-vibration emotions. Thus, meditation might help you view the fallout with your friend in a more positive way. (We’ll spend more time exploring meditation further on.) Since everything is energy, you could say that everything you engage with will affect your vibration somehow. But new actions and changing your mindset in a positive way are also elements of self-love, to become the best – and happiest – person you can be. There are also new actions we can take to make ourselves feel better that may seem to work only for a short while to begin with, but when carried out consistently over a long period of time become habits that reap lasting results. Choose real friendships One evening, I received an email from a teenager who’d diagnosed herself with depression and low self-esteem. She didn’t feel good about life. She didn’t feel confident and found it very hard to remain positive. Telling her to stay positive didn’t work; it just made her feel worse. After speaking to the teenager, it became obvious that her friends had put many disturbing ideas into her head, telling her she was ugly, stupid, embarrassing to be around. These friends didn’t recognize her worth, and this affected how she saw herself, too. If someone doesn’t respect you or says you have flaws, there’s a good chance you’ll start to integrate their opinions into your sense of self. In fact, many of the thoughts in our heads aren’t originally our own. When we’re young, we might be told that we’re not meant for certain paths in life. We grow up believing what we’re told and the others’ perceptions become our reality. Our whole lives are shaped by throwaway comments and social programming. Sometimes, the simplest solution is to be around different people, especially when you can’t get the ones you’re already surrounded by to change. Once the teenager let go of the friends she had and made new ones, she began to feel more confident about her life. Simplify your circle of friends. Keep those who add value to your life; remove those who don’t. Less is always more when your less means more. Since the evolution of social networking platforms, the definition of friend has changed. They’re no longer people you know well. Virtual friendships have affected the way society labels friendships. We now call anyone a friend – even a person we met once on a night out. How many of these people are really your friends? Could you turn to them in a time of need? Unfortunately, many modern friendships aren’t based on emotional support or a family-like connection. Instead, they’re based on drinking, smoking, partying, shopping or gossiping together – some of which happen to be habits that will lower your vibration. A lot of these types of friendships may be based on short-term mutual gain. For example, some friends may only play an active role in your life when both of you need someone to accompany you to public events, such as parties. The person you go to the gym with might be considered a friend, but if you ever needed help moving house, would they be available to lend a hand? Would they offer to help? Although these friendships may not be bad, because they assist you in serving a purpose, they quickly fall away when you’re in need of help. You can’t always expect those people to be there for you. Sometimes, we have more superficial friendships than meaningful ones. Consider whether your friends show you support. Do they applaud when you win? Do they encourage you to take positive actions? Do they help you grow as a person? If you’re unsure, your friendships may not be as healthy for you as you think they are. If you suspect jealousy or hatred directed at you within your friendship circle, you’re not surrounding yourself with the right people. True friends want the best for you. Your success is shared with them. They don’t become bitter when you get better; they help you get better and ensure you don’t become bitter! Some friends want you to do well, but not too well. It’s important that we do not settle for these mediocre friendships either, as they’ll fill our lives with negative energy. We all grow and mature at different rates, but some people have slow growth because they choose to remain stuck. You’ll often meet people who are caught up in the same routines, doing the same things with the same peers, and complaining about the same problems. These people actively resist change and don’t step out of their comfort zone in search of a better life. They become comfortable with their dissatisfaction. You may be one of these pe