Approval

Have you ever had an experience where everything you’ve done in your life – everything you’ve mastered – is needed at that very moment? No other skills are needed; just the ones you’ve acquired. It’s a rush that cannot be explained in human terms.

Doctors, especially, have moments like these. But I’ve never had one – until recently, when I put together my plan to bring the technique of noting “3 good things” to the medical community via apps. Suddenly, everything I’ve done in my life was needed. Public speaking experience, fundraising, social media expertise, good enough tech skills to create a web site on my own, working with doctors, running limited partnerships, and bringing an app to the Apple marketplace as CEO of a tech company.

The light from this thing was blinding. I couldn’t look at it without getting a case of jitters. What if I screwed it up? An old fear of mine from childhood – feeling not good enough, as though there’s something wrong with me that I just haven’t found yet – cropped up.

I needed to shift out of that feeling, and fast. I had no time to waste on self-doubt. I asked myself what I needed. The word “approval” immediately came up.

Approval is not something we’re supposed to need. For decades, therapists and self-help and spiritual gurus have told us: “approval comes from within, not without.” I have a very different take on this. My childhood was devoid of approval. I didn’t receive my first compliment from a family member until I was 35 years old. Think about that for a moment. A life of no praise. The result is a persistent feeling of not being good enough. To heal this feeling, I had to discover that approval comes from within and without – and sometimes the “without” is life-changing.

When I was 35, I showed my sister the outline of an ecourse I wanted to teach through AOL (this was in the early days of the internet). I was terrified of getting another dose of disapproval from a family member. To my surprise, my sister emailed back: “Mark this as a red letter day.” It was the first dose of approval I received from a family member, and it changed my life.

Now, unless something extraordinary happens, I feel “good enough.” But something extraordinary did happen when destiny hit me in the face with my plan to bring “3 good things” apps to the medical community, and those old feelings came back. I need a fresh dose of approval.

I got it from my new partners, all of whom are medical professionals used to having awe-struck moments. It happened after I allowed my need for approval to rise to the surface within me with the use of a single word – Approval – that I made into a word video.

Watch it here, and shift into approval too:

Approval

Belief

What do we typically do when a new idea bubbles up within us? We can’t wait to tell our friends and family about it – but their reaction is often not what we’re expecting. It’s negative instead of positive.

When I shared my idea of turning “3 good things” into apps for the medical community with friends who practice alternative medicine, they were all over my idea – but they recommended that I steer clear of the medical community. They spoke with a loud and unanimous voice. One by one, they said things like this: Doctors are resistant to change; Doctors won’t consider anything new; Doctors are depressed because of health care reform.

I knew where they were coming from. They wanted me to take an easier route to success. Go after an easier audience, they said, like spiritually-minded people interested in improving their health.

The more they talked about how awful the medical field is, though, the more I wanted to help – the more my heart yearned to help.

Whose heart was right? Would I wind up saying, “I should have listened to my friends?” Thoughts of doubt crept into my psyche; for a few days, they also ran the show. To shut down the doubts, I had to answer the question:  Whose heart was right?

I did it with a piece of knowledge about the process by which new ideas reach their potential: That the growth of an idea follows the thoughts that created it.

Oh, we may have all heard that “thoughts create reality,” but not how it happens. By the way, the phrase “thoughts create reality” is not a new age belief, as commonly thought. The renowned paleontologist and Christian philosopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, wrote extensively in 1966 about the role of thought in his groundbreaking book, “The Phenomenon of Man.” He said the same thing, but in greater detail.

Here’s what I learned from Teilhard de Chardin. The initial thoughts about a new creation are naturally weak. They haven’t yet gathered enough like-minded thoughts to create a form. But when they do, and the form appears, the weakest part appears first.

The point in time when we want to share our ideas with others is also the point in time when those ideas are weakest, more vulnerable – and more easily shot down.

Noting 3 good things a day gets an idea past it’s vulnerability. It bolsters an idea by noting its progress. Too many people reject their ideas because of negative reactions from others. They (wrongly) decide that their idea isn’t “good enough” or “won’t work.” Stay the course! It could be that your idea’s entire picture just hasn’t appeared yet.

What about my new idea?

As I began to note 3 good things a day, my idea’s signs of life began to emerge, and I discovered that none of the things my friends believed were true. The physicians I contacted about partnering with me to create apps from “3 good things” were keenly interested in bringing a positive attitude to their patients – and to patients everywhere.

They eagerly backed my idea, even when digging up seed money was hard for them (ah, a real impact of health care reform on doctors). They gave me their private cell phone numbers. When I call, they answer, even if they’re tied up (which is usually the case). They are giving their hearts and their knowledge to this project, and are grateful for the opportunity to do that.

None of this would be happening if I hadn’t starting noting 3 good things about my idea.

For a short time, I considered heeding the advice I was being given. It sounded right, and it was meant to help. My friends knew I couldn’t, financially and emotionally, afford to make a mistake. They wanted me to steer clear of what they were certain would be a dead end.

I decided to believe in my idea. By noting 3 good things a day, I was seeing plenty of evidence that I should.

What to do about the doubts that had taken hold in my psyche? I went shopping for the perfect word to reverse those feelings: Belief. I made “Belief” into a word video to bring my wish to believe in my idea to the surface. Here’s a link to it, so you can shift into believing in your ideas too.

Belief 

 

Success

In an act of utter humanity, a small gathering of people set out to determine whether we can re-wire our brains to automatically see our positives rather than our negatives. New research in neuroscience shows that noting 3 good things a day for 21 days does this.

The gathering started a Facebook group called 3 Good Things, and they began noting 3 good things a day. They didn’t merely list things like “the sun was shining,” however. They opened their hearts and posted the events that meant something to them – like getting an unexpected check when it was sorely needed.

After a few weeks, here’s what happened:

“It’s an internal change for me. When something negative happens, I dismiss it and now turn my back on it instead of dwelling on it. I just think of the good things and don’t worry anymore that the negative situation will be around for long.”     (Sue D.)

“I have been feeling more positive. I think on the days when I’ve had to dig deep and really wasn’t feeling it but found 3GT anyway, it took the focus off whatever was going ‘wrong’. And I would keep finding myself coming back to the good things and not spending as much time on the bad stuff, and this is energizing and begins a wonderful upward spiral.” (Lanie M.)

“I’m experiencing confidence and a 90% reduction in anxiety. This is a miraculous turn in my psychological makeup.”     (Susan G.)

It works! Noting 3 good things a day does turn our brains into positive-observing machines.

What does this mean for us as human beings?

It’s an end to negativity’s hold on us – an end to that awful feeling that there’s something wrong with us, that we’re not good enough to create and live our dreams.

And it means something even greater than that. It means we can shift into destiny – not just the purpose for our existence, but destiny itself.

Destiny is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future.”

This is what we have been waiting for – a shift into destiny. The ability to use what we’ve learned from every one of the lessons we’ve gone through (even the ugly ones). The opportunity to combine those lessons with the skills we’ve acquired along the way (some painstakingly). The certainty that we’re going to create new, more positive – more loving – ways to “be.”

How do I know this? Because I shifted into destiny after a few months of noting 3 good things a day.

First, I began noticing the good things that were happening to me rather than focusing on what I was worried about.

Next, a new voice began to accompany any negative messages. Whenever I thought I couldn’t do something, the new voice said: “You’ve already accomplished a lot more than that.”

Then, an idea began to grow in me. It was the idea of turning the technique of noting 3 good things a day into apps for the medical community.

My idea came with a challenge. The apps, I knew, needed to match the unbelievably positive energy of the Facebook group that had the courage to apply this new technique to their lives. Was I up to pulling that off?

That’s when destiny made its first big appearance. It jumped in with an ingenious spark – of adding to the apps the knowledge and passion for healing that exists within the heads and hearts of the physicians who have signed on to create these apps with me. Here’s an example:

One of my partners in this app venture is an M.D. with a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology. She has a totally different way of thinking about aging. Even in cases of dementia, she believes, aging with its physical limitations automatically presents opportunities for connection and spiritual growth. New insights like this – which can be executed by noting 3 good things a day – will be part of these apps.

More than just developing apps from neuroscience research, this partnership now has an opportunity to make an original and significant contribution to the field of medicine. It will be my responsibility to pull that off – and I’m going to do it in real time, on this blog. At least once a week, and usually more often, I’ll post updates.

You’ll find out how I found my partners, how I am funding the apps, how I realized that my lessons played a part in the creation of this new opportunity, how I am dealing with the emotions that crop up for me, how I handle obstacles in my way – the whole story.

To begin, I searched for a word that describes how I want this story to turn out. So often, the wishes in our hearts never come to the surface. The reason? Abject negativity: those put-downs, some from years ago. The power of words can help with this. Merely reading the definitions of words allows our wishes to rise up within us.

I chose the word Success. Then, I created a word video (with the use of a dictionary I wrote) to help me claim my wish. Here’s the link to this word video on YouTube. Watch it, and shift into destiny with me.

Success