How To Stay Spiritually Motivated To Achieve Success

Your purpose will evolve over time. I have read every one of Wayne Dyer’s books, and have noticed an evolution over the years. As Dyer has evolved as a person, his writing has reflected his deeper, more authentic person.

His first books were mostly about managing your emotions, knowing that you are the product of whatever thoughts that you have, and becoming the kind of person you want to be. A few years later his message was more about not being a victim, not letting other people manipulate you, and taking responsibility for your own circumstances. 

A few years later he wrote more about self-actualization, fulfilment, joy and living at the highest level to which a human being can live. A few years later he began talking more about the process of enlightenment, peace and transformation. 

Most recently his teachings have taken on a more spiritual nature – the power of our intentions and our divine inspirations. His main purpose was to leave the world a better place after he passed from this life. He succeeded.

Brian Tracy, a well-known motivational speaker says that he was able to turn his life around in a dramatic way once he had a “magnificent obsession.” A “magnificent obsession” is when you dedicate your life to a powerful and compelling cause.

Doing “who you are” means living your true purpose, desires and gifts. This is where true fulfilment happens. Examples of people who are doing who they are:

Oprah Winfrey – Oprah was often asked why she kept signing three to five-year contracts with Kingworld to keep her long-time award-winning talk show going. People wondered when she is going to get a “life.” Her reply was always something like, “The show is my life, it is who I am, it is my voice, it is my gift. Why would I want to give that up?” Since this time she created her own network – OWN – which gives voice to who she is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

Steven Spielberg – After creating a number of blockbuster movie hits such as E.T., Jaws, Jurrasic Park, The Color Purple, etc., Director Spielberg was snubbed by the Oscar Academy (except for an honorary Irving B. Thalberg Award). He had always wanted to create a movie about the Holocaust and had held the rights to author Thomas Keneally’s Holocaust book for a decade. He had been discouraged from doing this movie as others felt it would be too “depressing” and not “commercial” enough. When Spielberg started his own family in the 80’s, it rekindled an interest in his Jewish roots and sparked his decision to make the movie anyway. In 1994, Schindler’s List brought him golden Oscar statues for Best Director and Best Picture (it swept seven in all).

Mel Gibson – After spending $25 million of his own money to produce his movie The Passion of the Christ, Gibson was fired on by critics. The movie sparked more public controversy than any other movie of its kind. But Gibson was undaunted. His passion for making this film was greater than his fear of criticism. It turned out to be the number one box office hit of the year.

Authentic empowerment is the knowing that you are on purpose, doing God’s work, peacefully and harmoniously.

— Wayne Dyer

Hope Is a Thing With Feathers

Hope means that anything is possible. Anything you can dream, you can realize. Anything you set out to do, you can do. Hope is essential for life. Sometimes we are faced with situations that seem hopeless, yet they never are. I have found in my own life, and in the lives of many of my clients, that the antidote for depression is action.

Even after a tragedy, we do not need to succumb to despair. By focusing on what you need to do in the NOW, or immediate future, i.e., get some sleep, pray, sit and sob; take a bath, you are assuming a future. Even if your future only encompasses what you will do in the next hour, it is important to decide on what you can do now to get through it.

In the wake of a catastrophe, it often feels impossible to summon the least glimmer of hope, faith or sense of life’s meaning. Hope follows action and action follows hope. Making plans in the middle of a crisis doesn’t change the crisis but changes your feelings about it. 

It gives you a small measure of control when your life feels out of control. Each step you take on your road map to recovery is a step born of hope. Each step then creates more hope. Soon you will have built a place where hope can nest.

As a motivation quote says, “You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.”

Throughout history (before psychotherapy) people have found relief and comfort in the immediate obligations and habits of ordinary, daily life. Talking about practical, immediate plans calmed people down during crises. 

Focusing on mundane tasks in the present can help build, inch by inch and then yard by hard, a pathway out of despair and into the fullness of life. The simplest act can have profound healing power. If you cannot come up with what to do next, ask for advice from a trusted friend, family member, therapist, minister or coach.

Hope is extremely important on your path to achieving your goals. Hope is what will keep you moving, working, completing daunting tasks, and trying new things. It is what keeps you stepping forward. Hold on to hope. Keep your vision of what your life will look like when you have achieved your goals. Do not worry so much about the “how-to’s.” The “how-to’s” will work themselves out. Just take one step at a time toward your vision.

Hope is the thing with feathers. That perches on the soul. And sings the tune without the words. And never stops – at all.

— Emily Dickinson

“When – Then” Syndrome – How to Live NOW

Object relations theory is about our attachment to people, places, things, and/or events. I remember at a very young age thinking that once I had that thing I wanted, then, and only then, would I be happy. 

Most of us learned this in our childhoods, especially if we came from high achieving parents in the Western culture. I learned it from my parents, my teachers, my friends, the media, television, and just about everyone I knew. Unfortunately, we have very few role models who tell us otherwise.

When we attach our happiness or well-being to an external object or an “it” as I call it, (boyfriend, car, house, husband, child, ideal weight, etc.) we can never really be happy. My family gave me the message that I needed to marry “it.” 

So I tried that, and it didn’t work. They also gave me the message that my value lied mainly in what I could do for others. So I tried that, and it didn’t work. They also gave me the message that I needed to do “it.” 

So I did, and did, and did, and “it” didn’t work. I followed all the other societal messages, constantly trying to have “it,” get “it,” “be it,” and “hold onto it.” I found myself running around like a crazy person – doing, getting, striving — doing, getting, striving. Yes, I did achieve many lofty goals that have brought me a great deal of satisfaction and pride. However, much of the time I was frustrated, stressed and exhausted. It didn’t need to be so hard.

The problem with attaching ourselves to “its” is that once we get “it,” we may be happier for a while, but then we must find a new “it” because we don’t know how to just “be.” It is like eating food. It satiates us for a while, but we will get hungry again soon. 

When that “it” that we worked so hard for turns around and disappoints us, we are often more unhappy than before we got “it.”

Achieving goals is a good thing. Having hope for a better life is a good thing. Striving toward our dreams is a good thing. But it becomes a bad thing when we are overly attached to these things. Once they do come into our lives, they don’t “fill us up” the way we thought they would because we cannot be “filled up” (or fulfilled) with external things. We can only be truly “filled up” (or fulfilled) with ourselves.

What does this mean, being “filled up with ourselves?” Isn’t that selfish and egotistical? I was taught not to be self-centred. Family and society told me that I should care more about others than I do about myself. I know they meant well, but they were wrong. Being “filled up with ourselves” is not about being self-centred. It is about attaching to ourselves. 

It is about finding our true self, our core, our soul, our gifts, our desires, our needs, our passions. It is about getting to know who we are, deep down. It is about being our own best friend. It is about being happy, satisfied, and fulfilled with our “beingness.” It is a spiritual pursuit, a journey into ourselves, or one could say, knowing the “God” within us.

The happiest people seem to be those who have no particular reason for being happy except that they are so.

— W.R. Inge

Visualize Your Desired Outcome

Guided imagery, visualization, and hypnosis have shown to be very effective in motivational training. The “vision” (or image) one might create is how one’s life will look when he/she has achieved one’s goals. One could also create the vision of performing well at the desired skill. There can be many “visions” representing different aspects, or stages of the goal, however, the most effective vision is where you envision the result you desire. 

Another, more concrete method of using visualization, is to put pictures that represent your “vision” in conspicuous places around your home, car, computer, appointment book, etc. Saturating yourself with your vision of your goal attainment can help motivate you and keep you on track.

In sports motivation, Richard Suinn, PhD, sports psychologist, teaches his clients skills such as stress management, self-regulation, visualization, goal-setting, concentration, focus, and even relaxation. He has written about a technique he calls “mental practice,” which is also referred to as “visualization” or “imagery rehearsal.” “It’s the mental equivalent of physical practice,” says Suinn. 

There is research evidence that indicates that when athletes use visualization after relaxation, their performance improves. The converse also holds true, if they imagine themselves doing poorly their performance worsens.

Visualization works by bringing subconscious mental and emotional patterns into consciousness.

For example, a 50-year-old man wants to play baseball again. He decides to go to a baseball camp where he can play with the pros for a week. This man suffers from arthritis in his hip and does not want to take medication during his camp. Before going to his baseball camp, the man visualizes himself “playing baseball, feeling limber and free.” In minute detail he fantasizes his movement, his performance, his emotional experience, exactly as he wants it to be. 

He sees and feels himself a winner. The man proceeds to have a wonderful time at camp and experience no pain while playing baseball.

Picture the fulfilment of your goals: see it, hear it, smell it, touch it, taste it. Think about what your life will be like when the goals are completed, what will be different and how you will feel. Afterwards, describe the picture in writing.

One of the best ways to recognize your strengths is to replay the tapes on your mind’s “video player” of the times you were successful. Go back to any and all successful experiences: a big sale; a good grade at school; a winning performance in the orchestra, the band, or athletics; a great shot on the golf course or tennis court; a time when you and your family experienced a feeling of love and togetherness; an event when you were recognized for exceptional performance. Focus on one time in particular and recapture the sights, smells, and feelings that accompanied success. The next time you feel self-doubt creeping up on you, replay this vivid, positive tape.

— Zig Ziglar

Positive Affirmations are Your Magic Words

Affirmations are powerful expressions of thought that many people have found to have an amazing impact on realizing their desires. Our thoughts create our power. Because every thought has creative power, the more you think of a thought, the more powerful it becomes. The more passion behind your thought, the more motion goes into the thought and the faster it manifests. 

In The Game of Life and How to Play It, Florence Shinn writes, “Our thoughts, actions and words return to us sooner or later with astounding accuracy. The idea, then, is to think only on what one wants, and not dwell on what one does not want.”

Many people ask a “higher power” for their desires to come true. If this has been helpful to you I encourage you to continue. Another idea, less explicitly religious, is to make “grateful” affirmations, such as, “Thank you for giving me the intelligence and skill to succeed in my commercial art business,” and “Thank you for bringing me two new clients today.”

I believe that our desires are within us for a reason — a part of a divine plan. Thus there is no need to ask for things but rather to give thanks for them and know that one’s desire is on its way. The following pages are examples of positive affirmations. Feel free to write some of your own! 

You can record your own affirmations onto an audio CD or MP3 player and listen to them over and over. Repetition is one of the master keys to learning. The more you state positive affirmations, the less you will state negatives, as the positives will eventually squeeze out the negatives.

Our lives are what our thoughts create.

— Wayne Dyer

Positive Affirmations

1. Dissolving Fear and Worry

  • I can handle my fears.
  • I am secure with myself.
  • My fears serve to protect me but do not control me.
  • I trust the universe is working for me and wants me to succeed.
  • Today I am free of fear and worry.
  • Today I am free of blame and guilt.
  • I am poised and speak with a strong, steady voice.
  • Things go my way.
  • Life is good to me.
  • I am calm and confident.

2. Overcoming Fear of Rejection

  • I am free of the fear of rejection by others.
  • I conquer the fear of failure and criticism.
  • There are no failures, only learning experiences.
  • I am strong and self-assured.
  • I refuse to be limited by others’ opinions.
  • I believe in myself.
  • I do not need to be all things to all people.
  • I attract healthy, supportive encouraging people in my life. My opinions, feelings, thoughts, and ideas are valuable.
  • I have high regard for others and they have high regard for me.
  • I approve of myself.

3. Overcoming Obstacles

  • I have relaxed control of my life.
  • I have the toughness and determination to get through anything.
  • My nature is to stick with my plan and modify it only when necessary.
  • I meet challenges with composure and confidence. 
  • Persistence is the key to my success.
  • I am increasing my inner strengths and abilities. 
  • This situation is teaching me something I need to learn.
  • I know I will achieve great things.
  • I look at problems as challenges and find their solutions quickly and easily.
  • I am getting stronger each day.
  • I am in control of my life.

4. Positivity and Optimism

  • I am optimistic about my future.
  • I am confident about my life.
  • I am dedicated to my goals.
  • I know I am going to do something great.
  • I look at each task as a stepping stone to my success. 
  • My clear-thinking mind generates new ideas for positive direction.
  • I have increased tolerance for others’ shortcomings.
  • I grow increasingly happy and fulfilled as I move toward my goals.
  • I feel great.
  • I am excited about my life.
  • I am at peace with who I am.

5. Taking Control of My Life

  • I have a strong determination to succeed.
  • I persevere even under difficult circumstances.
  • I am self-disciplined.
  • I am in control of myself and my life.
  • I confidently achieve my aims.
  • I am calm and relaxed in mind and body.
  • I take full responsibility for my life and the way I live it.
  • I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. 
  • When things around me seem out of control, I know I can control myself.
  • I easily go after what I want.
  • I am strong and determined.

6. Enthusiasm and Motivation

  • I believe strongly in myself and in my dreams.
  • I have a lot of energy with which to accomplish my goals.
  • I am self-motivated.
  • Whatever I do is done with enthusiasm and confidence.
  • I am cheerful and positive about life.
  • I am internally motivated to achieve my goals.
  • I finish all the projects I start.
  • I move forward from one accomplishment to the next.
  • I take great pride in achieving my goals.
  • I am a doer and a winner.
  • I am confident.
  • I feel good about myself.

7. Setting and Achieving Goals

  • I set goals that I can attain.
  • I write my goals down and review them daily to see my progress.
  • I am a high achiever.
  • I have a specific plan for my accomplishments.
  • I am not afraid of success or failure.
  • When I set a goal, I find a way to accomplish it.
  • My mind focuses on my goal until it is completed.
  • I enjoy the process of achieving my goals.
  • Obstacles may slow me down but will not prevent me from reaching my goals.
  • I can achieve whatever I set my mind on.
  • I can achieve whatever I believe in.

8. Start the Day Feeling Great!

  • I am grateful for the wonderful experiences that await me today.
  • Today brings fresh opportunities for fulfilment and happiness.
  • I eagerly look forward to whatever this day brings.
  • I am at peace with myself and the world around me.
  • I am grateful for my inner drive to accomplish my goals and enjoy life.
  • The energy I give out will flow back to me today.
  • I am grateful for my health and safety and the health and safety of my loved ones.
  • People respond positively to me today because I treat them with respect.
  • I attract good, happy, and satisfying experiences.
  • I greet the day with vitality and positive expectancy.
  • Today is a great day.

9. Finish the Day Feeling Great!

  • I feel good about my growth and learning today.
  • My life is secure and I am contented.
  • I am grateful for all that I have.
  • I dissolve all negativity in and around me.
  • I am free of blame and guilt.
  • I ask any questions I need to be answered and the answers will come.
  • I am a strong and enduring person.
  • My life is harmonious and fulfilling.
  • I am grateful for all the good and pleasant experiences in my life today.
  • I am grateful for the strength and endurance I had today.
  • Tomorrow is a new day to do things differently.
  • I choose to be content with my life.
  • I have peace of mind.
  • I am grateful.

Real-magic thinkers say, ‘I believe it, I know it, and I will access my spiritual powers to do it. It is my intention.’

— Wayne Dyer

Exercise: Using Affirmations

Examples of Positive Affirmations

  1. My ideas are worth being taken seriously.
  2. I have the right to pursue my dreams.
  3. If I believe in my goals, I can make them happen.
  4. I have the right to devote time to my own needs and yearnings.
  5. I deserve happiness and fulfilment.

Write 10 Affirmations of your own:

We are what we think.

All that we are arises with our thoughts.

With our thoughts, we make the world.

— Buddha

Get Over Your Fear of Success

Most of us will need to be able to motivate ourselves most of the time. There will not always be a cheerleader in our midst. One way you can keep your motivation strong is to take time periodically to relax and appreciate your hard work and effort. 

Take time and energy for yourself, to do something just for yourself. If you have been working lots of hours, reward yourself with some time off to do something you enjoy. If you have been dieting for weeks and finally lost that ten pounds, reward yourself by going to your favourite restaurant or buying yourself a new outfit. 

After finishing this article, I rewarded myself with a day off of writing doing something fun. I might get a massage, go to a movie, go to a concert or comedy show, rent some videos, go shopping, plant some flowers, or just read a good book all day. 

Above all, savour each success along the way. It really is more about the journey than the destination. Completion of each step, each task, each item on your list of things to do needs to be congratulated by YOU! Each step along the way puts you that much closer to your goal. And achieving your goal feels FABULOUS! Accept your success! You’ve earned it!

In the past, when I would achieve something great, I would often feel afraid of losing it. This was because having success was something I was not comfortable with yet. It takes time to feel secure and comfortable with the changes your success creates. Allow yourself this time to let it sink in. 

Do not allow your fear of losing it to rob you of your joy of gaining it. Trust yourself to handle your success in a noble fashion and not flitter it away. Trust the Universe that it is working for your highest good.

Your path to your dream is paved with sacrifices and lined with determination. Your path will have many stumbling blocks along the way and may veer off in many different directions. It is travelled by faith, belief, courage, persistence and hard work. It is conquered with a willingness to face challenges and take chances, and fail and try again and again. You may have many doubts, setbacks and unfairness along the way. But when your path comes to its destination, you will find that there is no greater joy than making your dream come true.

Enjoy your success – you’ve earned it! I wish you much happiness and joy in your journey toward making your (and others’) dreams come true.

Fortune’s expensive smile is earned.

— Emily Dickenson

Exercise: Motivational Music Gets You Moving!

Music can inspire people to take action. It can actually increase adrenaline in your brain and give you more energy. Find out if it works for you.

Try listening to different types of music and see if there is a particular sound that motivates you and gets you excited. Some suggestions of music that many people find energizing and inspirational are:

  • “I’m So Excited,” Pointer Sisters Greatest Hits, 1989 BMG Music
  • “One Moment in Time,” Whitney Houston, 1988 Summer Olympics Album, Arista
  • “Gonna Fly Now” (theme song), Rocky, Original Motion Picture Score, 1976, United Artists
  • “Up!” Shania Twain
  • “That Girl is On Fire,” Alicia Keys
  • “Fight Song,” Rachel Platten
  • “Happy,” Pharell Williams

Write the names of music titles that motivate you:

Create a Greatest Motivational Hits CD or CD library for yourself. Listen to it frequently or whenever you need a “lift.”

There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves, too. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.

— Goethe

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