Fareed Zakaria

Beliefs Pt. 1

Hey, you guys! Chuck here!

I had many successes in 2016! I’ll have many more successes in 2017! And I owe a lot of my success to my beliefs! I have great beliefs! Now, for the sake of this particular post, when I talk about beliefs, I’m not referring to whether or not you believe in reincarnation or the Quran or the Coronation of Our Lady as Queen of Heaven and Earth. Rather, I’m referring to the very simple beliefs we hold at a subconscious level. I’m talking about the beliefs that we hold so closely that we don’t even realize we believe them. In his excellent book Awaken The Giant Within , Tony Robbins defines a belief as a “feeling of certainty about something”. This is the definition I’ll be working with.

As Robbins says; “Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy”. What we believe effects us at a subconscious level and can drastically alter our behaviors. I’ll use my fear of bats as an example. When I see a bat I believe, at a very, very subconscious level, that I am in danger. My rational mind knows that I am not at all in danger. But, my subconscious mind, being utterly irrational, believes that I am in danger. This very simple and very closely held belief has an immediate effect on my behavior. I don’t know where that belief came from and, for the time being, I don’t seem to know how to correct it. But, it is there and its effects are overwhelming.

What beliefs could you be holding at a subconscious level that are effecting your behavior in an unhelpful way? These beliefs can be very simple and we are often completely oblivious to the fact that we believe them! For example, you may believe that you don’t deserve love. You may believe that your ultimate weight loss goal is unattainable. You may believe that you can never quit drinking or smoking. Those sort of beliefs would definitely result in unhelpful behavior patterns!

I can think of two incorrect beliefs I have held for most of my life which, when finally corrected, led me to make drastic, positive lifestyle changes!

The first belief is one that I’ve talked about quite a bit on this blog! For most of my adult life, I believed that I understood the universe! Now, I never for a second thought that I had it all figured out! I recognized that the universe possessed unfathomable complexity which I could never understand! But, I thought that I, and most of the intelligent and educated people I knew, had the gist of it! I knew that the universe was 14 billion years old, human beings appeared about 150,000 years ago, Socrates was the wisest man who ever lived, and you treat people how you would want to be treated. You know, the basics!

But then, back in June, I realized that a reality TV star was about to become the 45th President of the United States of America! Political commentators who I respect (Charles Krauthammer, Fareed Zakaria, George Will) all turned out to be embarrassingly wrong. I realized that not only did I not understand the universe, nobody did! This drastic change in a very simple belief resulted in very positive behavioral changes! I quit drinking, I began to eat healthy, and I began to seek out the secrets to energy and success! Just one simple belief can single-handedly determine the trajectory of your life! Oh wow!

In my next post I’ll discuss my second incorrect belief which, when corrected, led me to make drastic, positive lifestyle changes! And I’ll discuss what actions you can take to begin to correct your unhelpful beliefs! Until then, if you have any questions feel free to email me at my high-energy email address chuckishighenergy@gmail.com or leave a comment here or on Facebook or Twitter! I love hearing from you guys!

 

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Don’t Waste Time On Things You’ll Never Be That Good At

Hey, you guys! Chuck here!

In his excellent book The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferris discusses emphasizing strengths and ignoring weaknesses. In the book he states that; “It is far more lucrative and fun to leverage your strengths instead of attempting to fix all the chinks in your armor. The choice is between multiplication of results using strengths or incremental improvement fixing weaknesses that will, at best, become mediocre. Focus on better use of your best weapons instead of constant repair.”

In short; don’t waste time on things you’ll never be that good at!

In the last two posts I’ve discussed how the lesson we were supposed to take away from 2016 is that none of us understand any of this. We especially don’t understand politics. We can kind of understand it at the local level. But, we don’t understand it at the state level. We don’t understand it at the national level. And we sure as heck don’t understand it at the global level! And yet, a significant chunk of our time is spent debating politics on social media! We are spending a lot of time doing something that we’ll never be that good at!

In 2016 all of the the experts demonstrated that even they don’t understand what’s going on! Just watch this video of Fareed Zakaria being completely wrong about stuff! Zakaria is one of our country’s most brilliant political thinkers and he was completely wrong about all sorts of stuff! If Zakaria doesn’t understand any of this, your chances aren’t very good at all! And yet, we waste uncountable hours debating politics on social media. We could be using this time to focus on things that we could possibly be good at someday! You could be learning a new language or a new instrument. You could be working to acquire any number of skills! You will never understand politics, but maybe you could be a pretty good ventriloquist! You have no idea if repealing Obamacare is a good idea or not, but you could one day be fluent in Arabic! Don’t waste your precious time on things you’ll never be that good at!

Many years ago I recognized that I lacked something most other guitarists’ have. I would watch other guitarists on stage and notice that they had a steadiness and control that I seemed to lack. I recognized that there were certain things I would never be able to do on guitar. So instead I focused on guitar techniques which were more accommodating to my unique hand situation. I focused on techniques which presented a fun challenge and stayed away from techniques which I found frustrating. I developed a style of playing which became the envy of many musicians who had mastered techniques of which I was envious! Last October my suspicions were confirmed when I was diagnosed with a tremor in my left hand! No amount of practice was going to make me good at those guitar techniques which frustrated me and it’s a good thing I didn’t waste too much time practicing those techniques! Sometimes frustration is our brain’s way of telling us that something is simply beyond our grasp!  If you don’t believe me, just watch this video of me performing a Hank Williams song! Look at all of the fancy chords I play! This is what happens when you recognize your weaknesses and focus on your strengths instead!

So don’t waste time on things you’ll never be that good at and together we will have many successes in 2017! And if you have any questions or you have an idea for something you would like to see me write about on this blog, feel free to email me at my new high-energy email address chuckishighenergy@gmail.com!