Filled with anecdotes and real-life stories, The Power of Choice shows you how to make a goal and take firm action toward that goal by managing your behavior. This self-improvement guide helps you come to terms with the following basic tenets:
• Whatever you believe with conviction becomes your reality.
• Your mind controls your body.
• Your mind has the power to comply with your expectations.
• Happiness is a function of how you interpret events in your life.
• Whatever you say to yourself over and over is what you become.
• You become just like the people you surround yourself with.
Minasian also helps you understand the role faith plays in your life, the importance of emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills, methods to control the ego that controls you, and ways to mentally create the blissful state of oneness with your higher power
The Power of Choice teaches you how to reframe the events in your life and move from being a victim to being the architect of your own well-being.
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THE POWER OF CHOICELiving the Life You Always Wanted and Absolutely Deserve
By Berge Minasian
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2011 Dr. Berge Minasian
All right reserved.
Chapter OneIF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT YOU WILL SEE IT
Whatever you absolutely believe with conviction becomes your reality.
It is not known for sure but sometime in the year 1903 a young Englishman named James Allen wrote a piece he called As a Man Thinketh. It was a brilliant little book that focused on how ones thinking affected ones life. He taught us that "if you are willing to radically alter your thoughts, you will be astonished at the rapid transformation it causes in the material condition of your life." Saying it another way he was suggesting that people are themselves the makers of themselves by virtue of the thoughts they choose and encourage.
Once we learn that by changing our thoughts we change our life, we are well on our way to living the life we always wanted. Immerse yourself in the right thoughts and you will become the person you always wanted to be. If you plant an acorn, you can be sure of growing an oak tree. Plant the right thoughts and enjoy the results.
As a Man Thinketh became and still is one of the most referenced books in the self- improvement industry. All of today's leading authors and seminar leaders were influenced by this powerful little volume and the wisdom contained in its pages. It is as relevant today as it was over 100 years ago.
IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU DNA OR YOUR LUCK
For one reason or another, the message in James Allen's book, that our life is a mirror copy of our thoughts, did not begin to emerge as a viable paradigm in our society until the latter part of the 20th century. But since then, literally hundreds of books have been written about our mind/body as a unit and it has gradually become "credible" now to believe that our mind controls our destiny. It's not our DNA, it's not our good luck or our bad luck, and it's not about our parents, our families, our friends and associates. It is simply all about how we choose to interpret the events in our life.
Without getting technical and overwhelmed by the science of it all, just know that the mind/body connection is now validated with pure science. The evidence is overwhelming and clear; what we think and believe affects us physically and emotionally and subsequently affects our ability to deal with life's challenges, be they physical, emotional or interpersonal. This is exactly what James Allen was saying over 100 years ago in his brilliant little book. Professionals refer to this phenomenon as the law of belief!
What I want you to get out of all this once again is the idea that we generally attract into our lives whatever we think about, and whatever we passionately believe in. Every thought or feeling we entertain eventually shapes the quality of our life. Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results just as bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results.
EXPECT IT, SEE IT!
No matter what you believe, you will find a way to convince yourself that it is true. If you believe that the world is full of people who can't be expected to do the right thing, you will no doubt attract those people into your life. And of course, if you believe that the world is full of kind and caring people, that's what you will attract as well. So, be aware of your beliefs and always make an effort to believe in what you want instead of what you don't want.
This notion of expecting and receiving also holds true for such simple things as finding a "good" parking place. I have a ritual that I use with my two older grandchildren (Tara 14 and Ricky 9) whenever we go out shopping, which by the way is quite frequently. Just before we reach our destination, one of us will announce that it is time to begin focusing on our parking spot.
Together we begin to imagine as vividly as we can and we literally see the perfect parking spot in our minds eye. And its funny, we are never surprised when someone just happens to be pulling out as we arrive. We absolutely know and trust that a good spot will be there for us. Sometimes our timing won't be perfect and we will need to make a quick circle around the lot. But, we always find "our" parking spot sooner or later.
The same law applies to life in general. If you believe you were born into the life you are experiencing, then you will continue with business as usual. But the fact that you are reading this book means that you are ready to create the quality of life you absolutely want and deserve. You have consciously or maybe even unconsciously taken the first step. And soon your unconscious mind will guide you towards the changes you need to make, be they large or small.
The message in all this is quite clear; all of us attract into our life according to the lifestyle we are living. If you are a positive person you will attract positive people. If you have positive self esteem and live a lifestyle which reflects your self respect, the people you attract into your life will treat you with respect as well. It's really quite simple. I remember when I was in my early teens, my widowed mom frequently said, "Tell me who your friends are so I can have a better idea of who you are becoming." This was her way of monitoring us.
THE LAW OF EXPECTATION
The next piece of this attraction phenomenon is that you manifest into your life whatever you expect. This is commonly referred to as the Universal Law of Expectation. Much has been written about this law which simply stated says, we get what we are expecting to get out of our life. Remember, the first piece was the Law of Belief which said, whatever we could passionately believe in, we could manifest in our life. Let me share some stories which will help us grasp the meaning of these laws.
Here's one I found particularly interesting because it so clearly demonstrated the law of expectancy. Sometime in the early 1970's a study was conducted in a school by a well known psychologist. He selected two teachers and gave them the following instructions: Teacher A was told "You have a group of hand picked superior students. They all have very high IQ's and are expected to achieve quite high. You are not to tell anyone, not even the students, that they were hand picked for this experiment and are expected to have very high achievement."
Teacher B was told that her class of students was not expected to do well because they have low IQ's. She was told not to let the students or the other teachers know about the composition of her class. The principal told her to do her best but they are not expected to achieve too well.
Before the school mid-term, the psychologist and principal abruptly ended the project prematurely. What had become abundantly clear was that just as they had predicted, the children in group A were achieving as expected near the top of the charts. And, the children in group B likewise were performing as expected near the lowest end of the continuum. But, in reality and unbeknownst to either teacher, both classes were assigned randomly with no significant differences in the IQ composition of them. The study was ended prematurely so as not to prolong the negative experience both the teacher and students in group B were having.
The only difference between the two classes was the belief of their respective teachers. Even though the teachers did not inform the children about the study, their attitude, in other words their belief and expectation, accounted for the dramatic results. Yes, both teachers achieved exactly what they believed they would. They were both very competent and experienced teachers with more or less the same level of teaching expertise.
In a similar study, the classroom teacher was told she had a hand-picked class of high IQ children and they were expected to have a very exceptional year. But this time the teacher was told that she should tell the children they were in this experiment and that they should all do the best they could.
When the school year was over and the children were tested, guess what, the entire class scored exceptionally high test scores. In a meeting to discuss the test results, teacher, parents, and of course students, expressed their great pleasure in fulfilling the high expectations.
The teacher talked about what a treat it was to teach such exceptional students. They were all very proud of themselves. But then the researcher stood up and announced that the class was really composed of high, average and below average learners. The study was undertaken to determine if the positive beliefs of teacher, parents, and students could make a difference in student learning. And of course they proved that it could.
IF YOU THINK YOU CAN, YOU CAN
One of my favorite anecdotes about the power of expectation involves the hugely successful industrialist and founder of Ford Motor Company, Mr. Henry Ford. It seems that Mr. Ford wanted his engineers to create a conveyor belt to facilitate the new model of his automobiles. This would give him a huge advantage over his competitors and he was convinced that his engineers could produce it.
Mr. Ford called his senior engineers into a meeting and told them what he wanted. The engineers were dumbfounded. After the initial shock, and as they looked at each other in bewilderment, his chief engineer blurted rather authoritatively, "Sir, it just can't be done, we just don't have the technology at this time to make it happen."
Mr. Ford calmly looked across the table, looking one by one into the eyes of each engineer and then he quietly said, "If you think you can't or if you think you can, you will be absolutely right." With that, he stood up and stoically walked out of the room. His staff sat there silently for a few minutes. They were bewildered! Now what? One by one they stood up and solemnly walked back to the design center and started attacking the challenge Mr. Ford had given them.
But somehow there was a change in their mood, and instead of working with the attitude that it couldn't be done, the engineers were working with a sense or urgency and conviction. They started thinking "outside the box." Step by step they began to make significant progress and they were all excited about what they were doing. The environment in their laboratory was exhilarating. They were making dramatic progress and one day it finally happened. They developed the assembly line Mr. Ford had envisioned and ordered. They had evolved from an "it can't be done" group to a "can do" group because of the belief and expectation of their leader, Mr. Ford.
Another good story about believing and subsequently achieving comes from the annals of track and field. As the story goes, in 1903, the British Track and Field Olympic coach told his runners, "The one mile record is 5 minutes 12.75 seconds, and this record may never be broken." But of course they all secretly tried to beat the record anyway. Try as they may, no runner was able to break that "unbreakable" record for about 50 years.
Then amazingly, in 1954 a young American runner named Roger Bannister broke the record by running the mile in 4 minutes 59.4 seconds. The track and field community went ballistic. That "unbreakable" record was now broken and a whole new generation of runners set out to beat the new record. Now they were no longer constrained by the "it can't be done" mentality. They were all running with the intent to break this new record. Within four months, Roger Bannister's record was broken by another young runner and just recently the fastest mile run on U.S. soil was at the Prefontaine Classic on June 10, 2007. Daniel Koman of Kenya ran the mile in 3:48.28. Without a doubt, that record will someday be broken as well.
Let me share a final story about the power of belief. This one takes place in a movie theater years ago when the movie Lawrence of Arabia was playing. Mid-way through the movie at intermission, there was a never before seen rush of movie goers purchasing cold drinks at the concession counter. Although the movie theater was air conditioned, the audience became so immersed in the movie they created this sense of being very hot and thirsty.
What can we learn from these examples? Well, to begin with, I think we need to be especially careful to avoid giving ourselves negative messages about who we are or what we can or can't do. More importantly, we should focus on a steady diet of positive affirming messages. The messages we continually receive tend to shape our beliefs about ourselves.
From time to time, all of us are subjected to negative comments from family, friends and colleagues. The best way to short circuit the negative missiles being fired at us is to remember that what other people think about us, i.e. the way we look, how we perform, and our overall status in life, is none of our business. It is simply the opinion of that person and it has no relevancy whatsoever to who you are and your worth as a person.
How we receive and interpret those comments will make all the difference in the world to our self concept and self esteem. One of the best strategies for dealing with the negative missiles is put a half smile on your face and silently say to yourself "your opinion of me is none of my business!" Try it!
Let me emphasize once again that we are in large part the custodians of our own health and happiness. We just need to be in control of the messages we give ourselves as well as the messages we allow others to aim at us. We don't have to be victims of our circumstances or our genes.
WHAT YOU EXPECT IS WHAT YOU GET
Remember, what we expect and what we believe will more likely than not, manifest into our lives. Even if we are struggling with a chronic and seemingly incurable illness, or if we are experiencing a less than a positive lifestyle, we can and must adopt a paradigm of hope and belief in a better outcome. Remember, what we think and expect is our choice. Why not give optimism a chance? It doesn't cost us anything to adopt a positive attitude and positive expectation. It's so much better to live day to day with positive expectation than to live those days with debilitating pessimism.
Skeptics will challenge this by saying it promotes false hope. That's their opinion and they are welcome to it. But Norman Cousins put it all into perspective when he said, "there is no such thing as false hope. Hope is merely a desire for a positive outcome. There is no disease that has killed 100% of the people diagnosed with it."
The good news is that our immune system successfully keeps us healthy most of the time. More often than not, our immune system recognizes mistakes and self corrects. But sometimes, disease overwhelms our mind/body system and we become ill. Therein lays our challenge. We can all learn how to do a better job of supporting our immune system, and that is one of the goals of this book.
REMOVE THE PROVERBIAL LID
Let me share another interesting anecdote about believing and achieving. This one involves a group of young behavioral scientists who wanted to see if they could condition a jar full of fleas. They put some very active fleas in a jar and put a cover over the mouth. The fleas tried and tried to jump out of the jar but they were held back because of the lid. Soon they were not even jumping to the top anymore because they just bounced off and couldn't get out. Then before too long, the fleas just jumped, but never to the top because they "knew" they couldn't get out.
After observing this behavior for awhile, the researchers were convinced that they had indeed conditioned the fleas to believe that it was "impossible" to jump out of the jar. Then one day they took the top off the jar and as we would suspect, the fleas did not jump to the top because they "knew" that it was impossible to jump out of the jar. They had been thoroughly conditioned by their experience.
It's probably a safe bet to say that many of us, to one degree or another, have had the proverbial lid placed over us. Our well meaning parents, our teachers, our relatives, our friends, and employers have all unwittingly contributed to the "lid" which some psychologists call "learned helplessness." The evolution is subtle but quite real and I dare say that some of us are regularly placing our own lid upon ourselves.
Excerpted from THE POWER OF CHOICE by Berge Minasian Copyright © 2011 by Dr. Berge Minasian. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Looking For And Seeing Beauty In Your Life....................xi
Introduction Confront Your Fears And Just Do It Anyhow....................xvii
Chapter One....................If You Can Believe It You Will See It Whatever you absolutely believe with conviction becomes your reality. Chapter Two The Mind Body Connection You become whatever you spend your time thinking about....................17
Chapter Three The Placebo/Nocebo Effect I Shall Please....................37
Chapter Four Faith, Hope, Spirituality Making Miracles....................51
Chapter Five Conquering Stress: The Silent Killer Happiness and positive attitude—your anecdotes....................65
Chapter Six Emotional Intelligence And Interpersonal Skills The keys to success....................83
Chapter Seven Fear, Greed, And The Desire For Power The Playground of Your Ego....................103
Chapter Eight Anger, Happiness, And Laughter Your Choices....................119
Chapter Nine Finding Meaning In The Workplace There are no unimportant jobs, just people who feel their jobs are unimportant....................135
Chapter Ten Liking Yourself, Self-Esteem, And Positive Affirmations Just dare to become all you can be....................151
Chapter Eleven Creative Imagery The body doesn't know the difference between a real experience and one which is mentally experienced with emotion and belief....................165
Chapter Twelve Meditation And The Relaxation Response Mentally creating the blissful state of oneness with your higher power....................177
Chapter Thirteen Collective Consciousness You become like the people you associate with....................197
Chapter Fourteen Diet And Physical Exercise Supersize your commitment to wellness....................209
Afterword And so my friends, it's all up to you....................223