Shifting External Reality

Shifting external reality is a practice that can alter your sense of self perception.

A huge revelation is that anything we perceive in others and the outside world are actually part of ourselves. This means whatever we admire or despise, whatever excites us and evokes discomfort, is all part of a positive or negative shadow.  

Taking personal responsibility for our perception implies a willingness to be accountable. In essence, we realize, we have no one to blame but ourselves. It means we determine our behavior and how we see the world.

From the moment it hits that we are the source of all our perception, we can grow into a conscious agent of change. To do so requires we be willing to recognize that so long as we project into the external world, we cannot completely embody our creative gifts.

Seeing And Believing

Our sense of sight is such an incredibly powerful source of input that we believe what we see even if everyone else thinks we are crazy. Once a picture has been uploaded to our brain, as far as we are concerned, it represents reality. We can use this analogy to illustrate a powerful personal development tool that we all came hardwired with.

You see, the human mind is programmed to work in pictures, not words. Your mind prioritizes those pictures according to the emotional value you have attached to each one. The greater the emotional value the higher the priority.

So, much like the pictures that enter our mind through our eyes, the mental pictures we create in our heads, and the value we assign to them will determine their significance.

-Higher priorities get greater focus-
Because the mind is only creative, it always strives to manifest whatever seems most important according to your established order of priority.

Positive personal development occurs when we learn to control both the type of mental images we allow ourselves to dwell on and their relative priority. This might sound complicated but it really comes down to this; your mind will do it’s best to bring about whatever you tell it is already real. If you already see it and you already feel it, then as far as you mind is concerned, it already exists, it is reality.

-See it in your mind-
When you set a goal, it is vital that you create a  mental image of your intended result and then hold that image as often as possible. That’s no secret, right? We call it visualization and we know that visualizing programs your nervous system to recruit the resources needed to manifest that result.

You have heard the phrase “seeing is believing” and that is especially true with respect to your minds eye. In fact, you could say of the mental images that affect your personal development, that “seeing and believing” are two of the three essential elements for manifesting our intended results.

What else is needed ?
The fuel that drives your personal development power source is emotional, not just mental or physical. So, visualization becomes a much more powerful personal development tool when you add an emotional component. To manifest your desired outcome, you’ve got to get your feelings involved.

While visualizing, connect with all the positive feelings associated with that mental picture. Attach those positive feelings to that vision so that the two are inseparable. Feel the joy and sense of accomplishment that achieving that personal development goal will bring you.

-Ramp up your personal development-
The stronger your emotional attachment, the faster your life will rearrange itself to create that desired outcome and the more motivated you will be to take action and make it happen. So, in personal development, seeing and believing, fueled by feeling will bring the fastest and most rewarding results.

Effortless Talents

Remember the kid in school who did everything at the last minute but still excelled ? The one who only half-studied, winged it and triumphed ?

Seeing a person effortlessly (even begrudgingly) perform at a high level can be frustrating. It’s like watching someone solve the meaning of life on a chalkboard while rolling their eyes.

Fast forward to your professional life. Colleagues show flashes of brilliance in an off-the-cuff way that sparks the inner dialogue, “ Can I keep up ? How could I possibly compete ?”

Part of us might feel threatened by these nonchalant displays. I’ve found myself looking on with a hypnotic admiration as if watching a savant accomplish the impossible.

The truth is: no matter how many Rubik’s Cubes we toil over, Sudoku grids we pencil-in or Ted Talks we absorb like a sponge, some of us will always be more gifted than others. That’s reality, and it’s out of our control. But what can we control ? How do we harness what we have ?


A career philosophy, I’ve found, is no small thing. Why do we get out of bed in the morning ? What on Earth do we stand for ?

In my experiences from desk job to executive, it’s clear that some people just don’t know. They aimlessly stumble through life like a zombie in the post-apocalypse: grasping for whatever moves.

While a destination should always be on the horizon, knowing what it takes to get there is as vital as the air we breathe. Therein lies the “shaping” of ourselves and the journeys we are willing to take on a daily basis to go somewhere.

I’ve met plenty of brilliant people in my professional life. Genius – personified. They, however, weren’t the ones who consistently became successful. Actually, many of them seemed to believe that being talented was enough; that somehow everything would click because they were skilled and capable.

Turns out, they were wrong.
People who truly excelled were persistent. They out-worked and out-hustled the smartest folks in the room because they didn’t rest on their talents, never took the lazy route and came into work every day with a palpable thirst for achievement.

Living by small victories from offhand talent cannot compare to the tenacity of someone who has chosen to shape themselves with dedication and grit. If I’ve learned one thing, it’s that committing to persistence in work and life is a commitment to ourselves and infinitely more valuable than natural ability.