PERCEPTION

(photo: Retinal Fetish)

Be honest with yourself and clear about your goals. Without clarity, your goals will be fuzzy and easy to ignore.

When we set a goal, we set our sights on a particular result and we are now aware. Have you ever been interested in something new, perhaps a new vehicle, a particular product, or an article of clothing? Then as your day, week, or learning process continues, you seem to notice that new discovery everywhere in your environment?

Perhaps during a lunch break in a restaurant outside the office, you were talking with a friend about a new store that recently opened, then in the car on your way back to work a bus passes you with an advertisement of the very store you were talking about.

You say, “Hey, we were just talking about that.” In truth, had your thought process not been focused on the store, the bus would have passed without your noticing it.

Seeing is believing, but not always perceiving

It is not just noticing products that’s important, it’s noticing opportunities that come up. By controlling and sharpening your focus, your brain will begin to notice what it believes you are searching for. You tell your brain to pay attention to the outside world and spotlight everything that can bring you closer to your goals. When your eyes see these opportunities – your brain will focus on (perceive) them. If you are thinking about purchasing a Volvo, for example, and you begin looking at brochures, you (your brain) will automatically begin to spot them on the road and in parking garages. You think, “Wow, there sure are a lot of Volvos around.” In truth, they were always there, you just had not programmed your brain to spot them.

You might see me, but can you perceive me?”

In the martial art of Ninjitsu we teach the Art of Invisibility. Invisibility is the art of blending in, becoming an insignificant part of our environment and disappearing within it.   Hey, this reminds me of junior high school.

Remember that famous forest with that famous tree that falls with no one to hear?  You know, the one that ends with this question: If there is no one there to hear, does it make a sound?

The answer is “Yes,” the tree does make a sound.  Why? Because if you were there, you would hear it and you would say, “Wow, that was loud.” Regardless of your presence or your perception of reality, the tree will always make the sound.  As humans, we tend to relate everything to ourselves. So just because WE are not there does not mean there is no sound. It just means WE are not there to hear it.

The real challenge is when we simply confuse how we define the word “sound” and associate that to our own hearing. The falling of the tree creates a noise which is a fact (something we know to be true) regardless of the way we perceive definitions.

This illustrates the concept of invisibility. Both the theory and the tree remain elusive and thus invisible. Just as the opportunities in our world hide within the forest of our lives. The trick is getting to the tree (perceiving it) so you can hear it fall.

Searching the forest for the trees

Okay, let me take you out of the woods before we get lost.  The concept of invisibility for a Ninja means that you can make sounds and even cross within your opponent’s visual sight, but you must not be perceived. A similar concept is “hiding in plain sight.” So, you can be within sight, in fact your opponent may even “see” you.  However, because you have blended into the surroundings, and because your opponent has not programmed his brain to be aware of you, you are not perceived.  A better example might be, “Where’s Waldo?” You may be looking for Waldo, who is well within your sight, but unless you perceive him, he remains invisible.

The opposite of perception is invisibility

So, we must learn the art of invisibility in order to learn the beneficial art of enhanced perception. And in order for us to remain invisible, we have to master the art of masking any and all indicators.  An indicator is something that basically says, “Hey, it’s me and I’m hiding behind this rock.” Or, “Hey, that’s my enemy, hiding behind that rock.”

For this concept of Invisibility to be used successfully, we need to reverse the process and unmask (perceive) all the indicators. We need to understand that everything we need to succeed is already within our view; we just need to learn how to perceive it. Setting goals and detailed thoughts (pictures) regarding your objectives will tell your brain to pay attention and perceive that which cannot or is not normally seen.

In the past, your brain wouldn’t pay attention simply because it wasn’t important to you. Like a computer, it was not programmed to search for these things that are now important to you. There is so much information coming in on a daily basis that your brain is constantly filtering out most of what you see, hear, taste, touch, or smell. It simply prioritizes the information and discards what it decides is not worth keeping. If you focus – and continually refocus – on what you need, your brain will pay attention to it.

Focus is a powerful tool; use it wisely

I had a friend who started to focus on his salivary glands. A salivary gland secretes saliva as a pre-digestive response to help begin the process of breaking down foods. Well, your glands are constantly producing saliva, and if you focus on them you will start to notice saliva forming in your mouth. You might not ever really think about it. But my friend started believe he was producing too much saliva and even started seeing a doctor. After he told me about it, I thought about it too and noticed that I could easily start to over-focus on it and turn it into a problem. I immediately stopped thinking about it and told my brain it wasn’t important.

This is how so many illnesses begin: in our own brains, psychosomatic illness as it is called, or self-inflicted problems. The same phenomenon applies to focusing on your breathing or your heartbeat. You can literally cause severe physical ailments by misusing the brain’s ability to focus.

But just as with most issues, there is usually an opposite, and just as you can cause yourself to have new medical problems, you can also imagine a healthy immune system and focus on laughter as a way to heal. Many believe that this is the primary benefit and theory behind prayer and meditation – they both focus the mind on a single target and thus achieve amazing results.

One of the most significant of these attraction-based experiences for me was shortly after I finished reading a biography on the Virgin King, Sir Richard Branson. Sure enough, I actually met him on a flight from the UK on my way back to the States! During our conversation I suggested that he add chess to the Nintendo gaming system (installed into the console on the back of each seat) as chess helps pass long periods of time. We chatted a bit about it, and he left me with his signature toothy smile.

This is a very good example of how when we begin to focus on something, we draw elements of that focus into our lives even years later. Many times what we dismiss as coincidence or happenstance is actually the result of the Law of Attraction at work.

Another example of the long arm of “the law”

Will Smith was one of my heroes when he was a young teenage rap singer – for those who remember him when it was Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. I actually met Mr. Smith outside a mall in Thousand Oaks, California. Ironically enough, I had just bought tickets to go see Bad Boys, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. While I was waiting with a student I spotted Mr. Smith on his way in and simply kept my interaction short and asked if the movie was any good. Little did he know that he had had a major influence on my life when I was younger. He too left me with a signature smile that is still engrained in my memory.

I believe that somehow we attract things and people into our lives. Did I set a goal to meet Will Smith or Richard Branson? No, but they were in my head. I had told my brain that they were important to me and so my brain focused on them. In fact I didn’t have an actual goal to meet either of these very influential people now that I think about it. Which is what brings me to the real key to attraction; it isn’t JUST setting a goal that is important. It is placing these thoughts into our heads and letting go. Your brain will do the rest.

Goals are productive solutions – rewarding pit-stops on the roadside of life – leading us closer and closer to a worthy life-improving result. I know this is a fine line because when you achieve goals they will in turn make you feel better which makes them direct links to your happiness. But goals only assist in providing support for feelings we should already have balanced on our lifestyle beam.

Remember, we do not achieve to be happy, we happily achieve. We do not strive to be alive, we are alive to strive. You can’t get stuck in pit-stops, because there are lots more stops along the way and you must keep moving forward. This is why it is much more challenging to face your goals in this day and age.

If you don’t get up and take action, you still have a great chance of being fed. There are government agencies, religious organizations, and charities devoted to making sure you don’t starve. However, if you consider what life as a caveman was like, they had to strive mightily just to stay alive. If they didn’t get out of that cave and gather up some food, they would face early extinction. I doubt if they had the time or energy to think about enjoyment or relaxation! Survival was their first, second, and third priority.

The problem today is that success is treated as optional

When I taught myself to do the splits I had to take full control of my options. Doing the splits has very little to do with success if you are a caveman, but everything to do with survival for a struggling martial artist. For a good portion of my travels in Europe, I used the splits as a sort of (Rick’s been here) photo opportunity. In those days it wasn’t unusual for me to do the splits between two chairs for a photo several times a day. The point is not that I can do the splits, what I want to share with you is the way I went about learning to do the splits and how I used this success to improve my chances for survival.

By setting a goal (learning to do the splits), my focus became directed and highly concentrated; I paid attention to what I needed to learn. I discovered new ways to stretch and found out some secret techniques that allowed my current flexibility to increase one to two inches more.

To be successful and reach your goals – any goals – you must treat them as absolute. Reaching your goal is not an option: it is a must.

On a clear day . . .

Another important factor on goal setting is being clear on your goals. They must be definitive and clearly defined.

My goal is to be more flexible,” you say.

My response is, “That is too vague.”

For example, many of our goals – like the roadside stops – are a means to an end. I will ask a student, “What’s your goal?” And he’ll tell me, “I want to get a Black Belt.”

That’s great, but if I ask, “Why?” a different answer will reveal itself. For example, he might say, “I want to be more confident.” Don’t let this confuse you. The goal still might be to get a Black Belt because it is a step towards supporting his real goal to get confidence. If we chase any goal long enough with “why” questions we end up with the desire to feel good. It simply means that maybe we should ensure that our goals will actually improve our ability to feel good, as opposed to simply being another short term distraction that doesn’t deal with the real issues.

It’s important to understand what it is you really want out of life so you can start reaching your goals sooner. Simply put; it is much easier to hike in the daylight than it is at night. Clarity is key for goal achievement, and it is essential to be reflective and honest with yourself about your ultimate goals.

Winjitsu Work Out

Write down all goal ideas that come to mind and do so as if you had no limitations. Whenever limitations rear their ugly heads, just use your mental martial arts and kick them out of your mind. Visualize a bodyguard for the brain ready to do combat and throw out anything negative or limiting.

Once you have your goals in place and detailed, you will then want to move on to taking action to achieve them.

Note: In Book 5 – CMT, I will show you how to create a Personal Achievement Map which you can use to visualize your goals as well as find positive replacements for beliefs that limit your potential.

About the Author RICK TEW

I will do the splits for you too. I provide edutainment events that help you to be a Ninja in what you do. I offer Martial Arts Therapy Retreats on Samui Island in Thailand. My unique Winjitsu Mind-Body system of coaching inspires you to BE more fulfilled and to DO more to KickStart your ideas.

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