About Goal Setting

About Goal Setting

Regarding goals, I´d like to tell you something that I find very interesting. If you are unable to achieve your goals, you should know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you.
We all have something deep inside that thwarts our best efforts to change: our subconscious wants us to live with what we know, and anything unknown to us becomes scary to it. It's a basic survival mechanism. You managed to keep yourself alive so far in life.
Therefore you must be doing something right. Changing that may bring you a different and possibly unfortunate outcome (at least from your subconscious mind's standpoint).
In order for you to see what I´m talking about, I need you to please do this exercise for me. To understand what I'm talking about, try the following.

Plan to do something new.
Something safe but new. Go to a karaoke bar and sing. Take a different route to go to work or to school. Sit on a different place at Church. Wear some garment that you haven't worn in a long time. Talk to a total stranger. Sit in another chair at home. Sign up for a class about something totally "unlike you": knitting if you are a guy, or carpentry lessons if you are a woman.
When you do something different, you will feel mildly to greatly uncomfortable.
It is your subconscious´ way of telling you: "Hey! Be careful! You are in a new (and maybe dangerous) territory" and your stress levels will go up.
If you get anxious about little things like that, how would your subconscious mind react to a major life change? The answer for this is that it will probably take it poorly and it will try to sabotage your efforts.
Then you wonder. "Why do I sabotage myself all the time?" Now you know why.
You may wonder "Why do I sabotage myself all the time?" Now you know the reason.

If you try to change something about your personality or behavior, your subconscious mind will reject the idea of changing, because it is an unknown, even if the unknown is for your own good. The unknown may not be safe and your subconscious mind's goal is to keep you safe.

That force of your subconscious mind is called a belief system and it protects you from change.
On the other hand, when you meet someone who has achieved all of the things that you want to achieve, you may think something like this:
What is wrong with me? How come I can´t be like him/her? You may want to be like this person, and also would like to do the same things they did to get there.
You may want to be like this person and to do what they've done.
But your belief system will make it hard for you to move in that direction.
There´s nothing wrong with you, every time you want to change something in your life, your belief system will resist you.
It feels safe to be where you are right now. Change is scary to the subconscious mind.
The key questions here are:
1.- Where does that belief system come from?
2.- Is there a way to change?
Your belief system comes from everything that you have learned as a child, from your parents, how your parents lived and what they taught you, teachers, siblings, peers at school, grandparents. Etc.

You belief system comes from your childhood experiences and the people who influenced you: your parents, teachers, siblings, classmates, grandparents, etc.
Yes, there is a way to change.
Your belief system (and mine too) wasn´t created overnight, and it can´t be removed overnight either.
Your belief system, like everyone's, wasn't created overnight, and it takes time to adjust.
Right now, we are achieving in life all of the things we are programmed to achieve, nothing more, nothing less.
Right now, we are achieving the goals we were programmed to achieve, nothing more and nothing less.
This involves your relationships with others, your confidence level, your economic situation and your job situation.
Personality wise, studies have shown that your own brain chemistry has a lot to do with it, more than your belief system.
Why some people are very successful, or very rich? Or always ill? Why some people are always late? Or always in accidents? Why some are always being abused by others?
Each person has a different belief system. That's why we have the life we do; it has nothing to do with luck.
If you are not living the life you want, you can change your belief system. That will change the events around you, believe it or not.
This website describes much of what I know about people´s belief systems, about making changes to it and about achieving the life you´ve always wanted. Enjoy the journey!

Is your handwriting as innocent as it seems?

Is your handwriting as innocent as it seems?

What is your handwriting saying about your personality? Are you vain? Are you humble? Is your prospective employee honest? Handwriting is an ideomotor (ideo- mind, motor-hand) response. It is linked to our subconscious mind and as we change in life, so does our handwriting.
Goals. Your goals are seen on the t crossings. A straight and defined crossing shows your level of commitment to your goals.
Self Esteem: the T crossing shows your level of self-esteem; the higher on the T stem, the higher your self esteem. If you want to improve your self esteem, make a conscious effort to do the following as you write:

Make your T crossings higher. Make your handwriting larger and when you write your name down, underline it. Never cross out your name. It is like invalidating yourself.
The i dot is a great clue for handwriting analysis. If the dot is exactly above the i stem, you are someone who pays attention to detail and are very organized. If the dot is before the stem, you probably are someone who procrastinates. If the dot is after the stem, you probably are someone who wants things right now, a little impatient maybe.

These are the mechanics of it. As you write down your words your hand moves steadily to the right, if you cannot stop that movement for a second to write down the dot, you probably tend to be in a hurry to get things done.
Stress levels. Someone with high stress levels pushes hard on the paper, to the point that you can actually "feel" the handwriting on the back of the paper. Reduce stress by holding your pen with a softer grip and let it barely touch the paper when you write on it.
People who are eager to make a good impression on others (probably vain) make their signature nicer and larger than their regular handwriting. The opposite is also true, modest people make big and fancy handwriting with a smaller signature.
The type of person who signs their name exactly the same way they write other material is the "what you see is what you get" kind of person.
I suppose that after these tips you will never look at handwriting the same again.

About Age regression

About Age regression

During the 70's and 80's some therapists believed that our mind was like a tape recorder that registered every moment of our life with perfect accuracy.

Hypnosis was believed to be the tool with which we could uncover secret memories that could be the cause of our current behavior/problems.

That is not true. If you recover a forgotten event during hypnosis, such as a crime, it will not be admissible in court.

Let me give you a very simple example:

Suppose that when you are a child you are terrified because there is a thunderstorm one night. It is dark and you decide to jump into your parents' bed. You are still frightened and are crying.

Let's assume that your dad in an attempt to hug you, smacks you on the face with his elbow by accident. He apologizes, but now you are terrified, crying and in pain. But your dad hugs you and comforts you.

Now you are older and you come to me to do an "age regression" and have a question:
"Was I molested as a child?" People seem to believe that finding out if they were molested will actually solve their current problems. It is not so.

Anyway, assuming that I'm an old school therapist who believes that age regression will answer that question, I'll start with my session and question you during the session.
-were you molested as a child?
-mmm I don't know
-well try to remember…
-I remember something, it was dark, I was crying, my dad smacked me on the face, I was terrified… I was in pain and terrified. My dad was holding me tight. YES I guess he molested me… and that is the reason why my wife and I cannot get along. And back then, poor dad would've ended in jail.

Age Regression is not an option to recover memories, because people under hypnosis tend to lie. They lie to please the therapist… to answer a question with facts …to provide a concrete answer and not with a simple "I don't know."

After awakening, the lies will have an impact on them… as if what they said really happened sometime in the past. It will stay in the subconscious as a full fledged memory.
If we want the client to lie to themselves, we have to trigger positive feelings. We want to create responses that will leave them with a feeling of well being, even if their answer was a lie in the first place. So the better use for age regression would be to trigger positive emotions, not to recover memories.
These types of questions would be appropriate to ask somebody under hypnosis.
"Remember a time in which you were really happy"
"Remember a time in which you were able to express your feelings freely"
"Remember a time in which you were able to control your anger successfully"
These questions are win-wins. They trigger positive emotions; they bring memories or fantasies that empower people in their everyday life.

Make your own dream analysis

Make your own dream analysis

Dream analysis has proven to be very successful to help people understand what is going on "Here and Now" in their lives. Many of the issues that we have right now are created by situations we are facing in the present. There is no need to go back to our childhood and look for hidden memories. Dreams are rich in information, they are the "blue prints" of the subconscious mind. That doesn't mean that all dreams are meaningful. The only meaningful dreams are the ones that happen in the 3rd stage of our sleep, just before we wake up in the morning. They are the easiest to remember, too. They are called "venting dreams".
Venting dreams let us see what is going on in someone's subconscious. They let us see his hopes, dreams and fears: everything that may be related to the person´s belief system.
When the therapist and client review the dream together, they come up with meaningful information. The therapist cannot decipher the dream for the client. That's something they have to do together. And the reason why is that dreams are metaphors. A particular methaphor can mean one thing for one person and another for another person. That's why dream dictionaries don't work. Even the same dream for the same person can mean different things in different stages of their life.
A dream of being pregnant in a teenager can be very scary. For a woman who's been trying to get pregnant, having a dream of being pregnant can bring her a lot of joy. For a woman who has ten children and dreams about being pregnant again, that would probably be a nightmare. The interesting fact is that the woman can be the same, dreaming about pregnancy in different stages of her life.
When the therapist knows what is going on in the client's life through dream therapy, it is much easier for him or her to replace the missing pieces to allow the client have a more meaningful and successful life.

If you engage in the habit of writing down your dreams every morning, you will exercise your "dream muscle" which will allow you to have more vivid and meaningful dreams in the future. Reflecting on them will bring you important information about your feelings regarding a specific situation or unresolved issues. Then you can take action. Dreams are metaphors, so you cannot take them at face value. You just have to write your dream and read it over and over, trying to remember all the details about it. Then ask yourself: What does this mean? What situation about my current life makes me feel this same way? Who is this person I dreamed about? Who does this person remind me of? Why was this person in my dream? Where is this place? What does this place remind me of? Why do I feel the way I feel?

If you have the time and the patience to analyze your dreams, you´ll start one of the most amazing healing processes you can ever experience.

Where can you find happiness?

Where can you find happiness?

I would like to start by saying where happiness will never be found.
Happiness can´t be found in the future or in the past. Focusing on the past can make us feel nostalgic, angry or sad. Focusing on the future can make us feel worried. If you focus on enjoying the present moment, you will be truly happy. If you place happiness in the future, you will be chasing it all your life. If you place happiness in the past, you will miss the joy of the present moment.

Happiness doesn´t happen when you fulfill your goals or when you get new things. The reason why is that you will never stop having new goals. And you will probably always want new things. Life is made of little everyday achievements. Treasure those moments instead on focusing too much on your new to-do list.

Happiness will not happen when you are done solving your problems. That's because a problem is a situation that must be solved, just like a goal. In either one of them, you have to work on something to achieve a desirable result. That will never stop, there will always be situations in our lives that need to be solved.

A lot of people think that they must deserve it in order to feel happy, but the truth is that you can be the meanest, nastiest person on earth, and you can still chose to be happy. Some people even feel guilty about being happy.

It is OK to be happy, even if everything around you looks awful. You cannot be sad enough or angry enough to compensate for the overall sadness and anger in the world.
Choose to be happy even if you are facing difficulties, then with that mental shift, life will try to bring you happy experiences.

Don´t be afraid to be happy. You will not be punished for it. You can be as happy as you wish, and that is OK.

You don´t need a reason to be happy. You may be going through a hard time, but by being unhappy you are not making it any better.

I remember when I was 12 and my grandfather died of natural causes. I cried a lot, but at his funeral I was feeling fine. Then I realized that everyone around me looked depressed. That made me feel awkward and out of place. Therefore, I decided to try to cry to fit in, but I couldn´t. All I could do was fake this sorrow, because I thought that was expected of me. I felt a little guilty for not feeling sad at the moment while everybody else was crying.

How many times you are going through hard times, but deep inside you are feeling fine. Then, when you realize that being happy is not what´s expected of you, you decide to force yourself to feel sad or angry. You don´t want to disappoint people around you, you don't want people to think you are a little strange by being happy when you should be depressed. So, if you want to put a sad face to fit in, that´s OK, just try to keep your spirits up deep inside your heart.

If on the other hand you are actually sad. Start focusing on the good things around you, create happy thoughts, and that will trigger a good mood.

Happiness doesn´t just happen, happiness is decided upon. Happy events bring happy thoughts, but you can choose to have happy thoughts regardless of the circumstances. You can be in the best place on earth, in the best event ever and you can still feel miserable at the time.

Happiness doesn´t depend on others. If you do that, you will make miserable everyone around you. You have to be happy with them, without them or despite of them. Happiness is not around you, it´s inside of you.


An error in our recipe

An error in our recipe

Everybody who cooks knows that if we have a precise recipe, we´ll get a precise meal. If we have a mistake in the recipe, the result will not be what we expected.

If you have the right recipe in different areas of your life, and if you follow the recipe, your result will be what you expect. The only thing you need to do is to follow the instructions.

Let me share a story to make my point clear.

There was a first grade teacher who one day asked her students: Does anyone know how to cook something?

And this little girl raised her hand and said with both confidence and excitement: I do!

"I know how to make toast" she said, "First I put it in the toaster; then I wait until smoke starts coming out of it and the bread gets all black, finally I scrape the toast in the sink with a knife."

We may want to smile because we know that that´s how she´s seen her mom or dad make toast a few times. Why does she know how to make the toast that way? It is obvious that she didn't get the recipe right. But now I want you to consider this:

Is the girl stupid? You know she´s not.
Is the girl a loser? You know she´s not.
Is the girl worse than the other children in her class only because her mom lets the toast burn, and she happens to learn that with perfect accuracy? You know she´s not.

The only thing wrong with this girl is that she has the wrong recipe.
There are recipes for everything in life. Recipes for how to get better at sports, have more friends, scare all of your friends away, "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" (Starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey), etc.

I know somebody who is still single, and the reason she is single is because she has the wrong recipe about how to properly interact with a boyfriend.

One day she finally got a new boyfriend, she loved him so much and I asked her: "Hey, let´s go for dinner tonight, so you can tell me all about your boyfriend."
- No - she told me - Tonight I´m having a romantic dinner with my boyfriend.
- That´s fine with me, tomorrow, let´s go tomorrow.
- No, tomorrow I´m having a romantic dinner with my boyfriend too.
- What about Saturday? I said.
- On Saturday, I´m having a romantic picnic with my boyfriend.

So, I got the idea. She only has time for the boyfriend, but still I told her: "I think that at some point your boyfriend will need to get some time for himself. You´re going to suffocate the poor guy with romantic stuff every day."

She did not listen to me, but I knew that that was not the recipe for keeping a boyfriend.

My friend´s boyfriend broke up with her in less than 2 weeks. That really hurt her and hurt her self-esteem as a human being. There was nothing wrong with her. She was simply following the wrong recipe.

That is a clear example of how we choose to approach life sometimes.

First: we have wrong information: the wrong recipe. We missed something in the learning process…
Therefore, we don´t get good results, or at least the results we were expecting.
Then, and this is the worst part of all: we come to conclusions, and the conclusions are something like this…

I´m really stupid, I don´t know why I cannot even keep a guy with me.
I´m a loser.
I´m no good.
We ruminate so much about our flaws and our mistakes that we end up feeling very bad. Then we end up trying to punish ourselves at a subconscious level.

Here is another real-life example of something that happened to me when I was 14 years old.

I decided to bake cookies for my family. I took a recipe out, went to the supermarket and bought whatever the recipe took which was the following:

Cream of Tartar
Baking soda
And sugar

Back then I did not know any better, but my grandma who was watching knew…

-Alba, -she said -your recipe is wrong, cookies take flour.
-No grandma, these cookies are different- and I kept on mixing.
Alba, every cookie on earth has flour in it.
And insisted to be right

-Alba, for the amount of shortening you are using, you should at least add 3 cups of flour, please do this for me, add at least one cup so you get some consistency.

I agreed to add some flour, not because I wanted to, but because I was getting tired of her nagging. (Nagging does work, unfortunately)

My cookies turned out disgusting, very greasy, hard and tasted like baking soda

I was very mad, because I had been working all evening to end up with cookies like that.

I started eating them and at the same time telling myself: "I can´t believe I cannot even make cookies, I must be very stupid. I´m an awful cook. What a waste of time and money." While thinking that I kept on eating, and eating and eating. Until I made myself sick.

I punished myself by eating the cookies. At the time I couldn´t just let go and say: "Wrong recipe, there´s nothing wrong with me".

If we let our mistakes define our self-worth we end up:
Overfeeding ourselves
Letting others abuse us
Getting sick repeatedly
Losing our self-confidence
Accepting less from life, because we think we´re not that important after all.

And all that can start, because we had the wrong recipe.

A cute little nose

A cute little nose

This is the story of how one simple belief can change not only our perception about ourselves, but also how it changes the world around you.

As a child I used to be very close to my grandmother. She didn´t live in Mexico City like me, so I´d fly and spend a whole summer with both my grandparents, in the city where they lived. I started flying by myself very young, since I was potty trained I believe.

She was very nice and loved me dearly, but sometimes her "I must tell nothing but the truth" attitude made me realize the toxic effects of being brutally honest at all times.

As a child I used to be like any other child: I thought I was the cutest thing on earth, and I was pretty happy about it. Until one day, the day everything changed. My grandma announced we would have company that day.

Oh- I said - do cute little noses make you pretty? I asked
-Oh yes- she said
After hearing that, my obvious response was to find out if I had a cute little nose too.
So… I suppose, I have a cute little nose as well right?
Oh no, she said, I´d say your nose is very, very wide.
Is wide bad?
Yes, usually the classic, Renaissance look with a tiny little nose is the nicest. Wide noses like yours are pretty ordinary.

I was so shocked to hear that. Me? The prettiest thing God created, kicked off of her throne. For just somebody else´s cute little nose? How can that be possible?

I ran to the mirror, I wanted to meet my nose for the first time. I was surprised to see a nose just like the one my grandma described. If she´s the adult she must know better, right?

I didn´t see the nose I had, but the nose my grandma described.

That affected me to the point that I´d wear a clothes pin on my nose every night, hoping God, or the clothes pin would miraculously fix my nose for me. Nothing. I grew up with such a complex: ugly girl with an ugly nose.

When you are surprised, you are extremely suggestible to what´s being told to you at that moment. That comment or opinion goes directly into your subconscious mind. It becomes a new belief.

Usually the conscious mind is able to reject information so it doesn't go directly into the subconscious without proper analysis. But if you are appalled, your ability to filter what it is said to you (or happening to you) gets blocked. It goes right in. That´s how phobias are developed.

The beliefs you have right now are the combination of the opinions and statements you´ve been told by parents, teachers, classmates, other authority figures at the moment.

Going back to my story, from that day on, I completely changed my opinion about myself. I went from prettiest to ugliest in just one day. From that day on, I treated myself like an ugly girl.

I grew up like that, feeling ugly and believing life should treat me accordingly because of a comment my grandma said when I was little. I wouldn´t be asked to dance at parties, I´d be bullied at school. I became incredibly shy. If somebody stared at me I´d automatically think: Oh my gosh, they´re looking AT MY NOSE!

When I was 17, I couldn´t take it anymore. I decided to go for a nose job. Life would never be good for me unless I changed my nose. Yes, my perception about myself spiraled out of control.

When I met with the surgeon for the first time, what I said was that I wanted a cute little Renaissance look nose. (Then all my problems would be gone, my life would be perfect, etc.)

To my surprise the doctor told me that a "cute little nose" wouldn't look good on my face. But he´d make the perfect nose for me. AKA I´d become pretty again. Even the Renaissance-nosed girls would get green with envy after seeing me with my new nose.

So we proceeded with the nose job. And for 2 long weeks I couldn´t look at myself in the mirror because of the bandages all over my face. But during those 2 weeks something happened.

I became convinced that I was again (just like many, many years before) the prettiest thing on earth. Even without seeing my nose. I was convinced I was pretty, which made me happy. I was sure my destiny would change.

When the doctor removed the bandage, all I heard was the doctor´s Ohhhs and Ahhhs before I could see myself in the mirror.

When he removed the bandage…

I ran to the mirror, I wanted to meet my new nose for the first time. I was surprised to see a nose just like the one the doctor described. If he´s the expert, he must know better right?

I didn´t see the nose I had, but the nose the doctor had wowed with enthusiasm.

The most interesting part was what happened after I came back to my everyday activities.
NOBODY NOTICED ANY DIFFERENCE. All they noticed was that I looked much, much happier.

If my nose had been that ugly everyone would have said, "You got a nose job"

My dad still thinks that that doctor was the best psychiatrist he´s ever known but the worst surgeon ever. He cannot believe he spent an arm and a leg for a nose that looks almost the same.

He barely changed my nose but he fixed my brain, he changed my self-worth. He made me believe I was beautiful and as a result of that, the world around me changed as well

After the nose job I became happy.

Many years later, reviewing my middle school pictures I realized that the problem with me back then was not my nose; it was that I had a mustache.


The danger of Generalizing

The danger of Generalizing

Generalizations give us the comfort of predictability. To the subconscious mind a generalization promises a predictable outcome. A predictable outcome (even if negative) gives us peace of mind. For the subconscious mind it is better to have a negative known than a positive unknown.

Do you know somebody decided to start a business that didn't work out the way he planned? It is very easy for that person to make the generalization "I don´t have a head for business".

I had a client, she is terrified of men, she gets harassed a lot, at work, in social events, etc. Therefore, she makes a suitable generalization: Why am I always the one who gets harassed?

I met her sister, they went together everywhere, they worked in the same company, same social life. The sister even confessed to me that she didn´t know why her sister was the one "always" getting harassed, (even sexually abused twice) while guys always respected her.

After I discovered the power of generalizations I was sharing my findings with a colleague. So, what´s your generalization? I asked.

Well, I don´t know, she said. What I do know is that this city is so dangerous. People are robbed all the time. First she watched it in the news, then she made the generalization. Before she knows it she starts getting robbed FOUR TIMES A YEAR!

Right after her first boyfriend left her, my friend started saying: Why am I always so unlucky with men? Then she becomes prone to be abandoned again and again.

If you choose to say the word "always" or "all the time" in a sentence, make sure the overall feeling you get from that sentence is a positive one.

Every time you hear yourself express a generalization that takes you in the opposite direction than you´d like your life to be, stop it right there and state the complete opposite.
If you are a woman and were rejected for a promotion the wrong approach is:
Women get (always) promoted much less often than men.
Is that the end result you want to see in your life? Is that your ideal reality? No. But if you make the generalization you are conditioning your life, your subconscious mind, your environment and ultimately your life.

Please change your generalization to:
I didn´t get it this time, but I´m getting it next time for sure.

Now, some parenting tips regarding generalizations,
. Suppose your child gets frustrated because he just knocked his blocks down.
He may say something like this:

Why am I so clumsy? (children tend to be black and white)
Many parenting books will tell you to comfort him and say
You are very frustrated because your blocks fell,

That is a good approach to let the child vent. But what books don´t tell you is that a statement like that, said with anger can be very powerful and detrimental to the child's self-image.

When the child calms down it is a good idea to reverse the statement.

You dropped the blocks, but you are very coordinated.
No I am not.
If at this point you don´t remember any story that reinforces a positive statement. Make one up. You can tell him. "You may don´t remember this, but when you were 6 months old no other baby could play with the rattles the way you did. Other babies banged their heads but you always knew where your head was. So you are coordinated, you just had a little accident"

The same applies to you. If you catch yourself saying: All the food that I eat makes me fat. Believe me even the water will make you fat. If on the other hand you make the opposite generalization. Something like: I am so slim no matter what, at first your mind will reject it, but after repeating it you will eventually believe it. And then you can make the right generalization.

Speaking about generalizations a client of mine told me that every time she went to a certain restaurant, she was the only one who would get a hair in her soup.
The second time she went to that restaurant, she got a hair in the soup again. So she stated:
I always get hair in my soup in this restaurant.

She decided to stop going to that restaurant, to only find out that in other restaurants she was also the one getting the hair in the soup. What did her generalization say? "I always get a hair in the soup in this restaurant" It didn´t matter what restaurant she went to, she´d always be the one to get the hair. So she laughed when she found out that life was sending her a hair in the soup… until she stopped complaining and instead enjoyed the soup no matter how "hairy" it was.

It is so amazing how our generalizations change the results we get. I know someone who likes to complain just about anything, and when we go out, the funniest things happen to her, either the food that she orders is disgusting or the glasses are dirty. One day she even sat on a chair and the chair broke making her fall down in the restaurant. She has sent the message to the universe that she likes the complaining pattern, then the universe rewards her with the best events for her to complain about.

Now all of the other friends know that "something" will happen to her when we go out. It always happens. Now it is not only her expecting it, but the rest of the group too.

If you focus your life in nice and pleasant events, life will reward you with more of those, especially if you make a generalization out of it.

Your life calling is waiting

Your life calling is waiting

These are a few reflections of mine about our calling in life.
Do you feel that the world is perfect? Sometimes I wonder how life would be like if the world was perfect. I also wonder what my life would be like if everything in it was perfect.

I have two premises here. One: My life is not completely perfect. Two: The world is not perfect either. Since my problems seem to be more important than what´s going on in the world, I get stuck in this question: What can I do to help myself? My life, my situation, etc. I have realized though, that in my attempts to help myself I not only struggle a lot, but also, don´t get much satisfaction from it.

Then I realized about the need in the world, and about how much easier it is to get pleasure from focusing my attentions outwards.

People who think about helping others are the ones that get the most creative ideas and those ideas are the ones that make the world a better place.

Every great thing that has happened to humanity started as an idea in somebody´s head. The idea was far from selfish, the idea was about how to make this world a better place.

Michael Dell, the founder of Dell, computers wrote a book in which he shares with the reader how he started his business. He loved computers, his heart and passion were there, not in the "how to become rich" business. He realized that when he went to buy a computer in a retail store the salesperson had no idea about the product he was selling. After that experience he thought: How could I change that? Which means: How can I help? He wanted people to know what kind of computer they were getting and also wanted them to have exactly what they needed with excellent customer service.

Have you ever noticed that when the owner is in charge of his retail store his customers usually leave happy? Or have you been treated with such care by a salesperson that you actually thought that he was the owner?

Owners usually care about their customers because that´s the way to make the business grow. The employee that can care about the business in the same way as the owner does will not have to worry about his future in that or in any other business he works for. He´s got what it takes.

This approach works well also when we are interviewing for a position in a company. The person who gets the job is not the one who is thinking about how he can get his needs satisfied, but is the one who studies the job he is applying for and in the interview gives detailed examples of how can he help.

Think about this when you are looking for a new job. If you go to the job interview thinking "what is in for me," you will leave empty handed. If you study about the company and specifically about the job you are applying for and then explain to them why you can help, believe me, you will get the job.

Some of my clients have told me that they want a job so badly that they are willing to take whatever money the employer is willing to give them. Their desperation makes them cheapen themselves. A company is going to hire you because you are good, not because you are cheap. When they hire you because you showed them how you can help out, you will also be surprised how much more you can make.

Now let me describe the effects of being passionate but not caring about other people´s needs. I happen to know someone who loves to paint, he does paint very well, but his style is more into painting grey buildings, bats, and animal skulls. People have asked this very talented painter to paint flowers for them or a portrait. He´ll say
No, I only paint buildings and skulls.

Guess how many paintings he´s sold. Obviously none.

What he is saying here is: I don´t care about your needs, you should care about mine. Even the Christian bible says: those who serve others will be the greatest of all.

If we focus on serving others, odds are we will not only be more successful, but much happier too.

Can you predict future events?

Can you predict future events?

Many books that I´ve read talk about how our beliefs create patterns that affect our lives on an ongoing basis. As either a hypnotherapist or executive coach, my job is to listen, ask questions, and to listen some more.

All of my clients come from very different backgrounds, they have different lives, different jobs, some of them are young, others older, some are thin, some are heavy, some are women, some are men, all of them come from different walks in life.

What´s interesting though is the anecdotes they tell me. Their anecdotes have something in common, every time: an event that becomes a pattern in one person's life, but not in somebody else's life.

To my surprise almost everyone comes to me with stories that happen to them over and over again:
These are real stories told by real people.

Story #1
"I feel very frustrated about my work, I left my last company because they did not pay me the commissions they owed me. Right now I´m suing the company for my commissions. The last company I worked for, I left because they didn´t want to pay me my sales commissions either, I threatened to sue them, but after the threat they did pay me. It was a huge ordeal though. Working in sales is very draining, I believe it's very common not to get paid commissions and to end up fighting over them, so far this is the 5th time that happens to me"

I asked him if I he knew any colleague who happened to be in the same situation as him. He said no. "But they are not going to tell me they´re suing the company. Right?"
I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I have had clients who work in sales, I have worked in sales too, but I haven't met anyone yet who had to sue for his commission.

Story #2
"I lost my job because I got hepatitis, I did not go to work for more than a month and when I came back everything was different. I wouldn't be invited to meetings, my opinion was not heard and at the first layoff opportunity they got rid of me. In my previous job what happened was that I was in a car accident, I did not go to work for more than a month and when I came back, everything was different. I wouldn´t be invited to meetings, my opinion was not heard and at the first layoff opportunity they got rid of me. The previous job what happened was that I took a month off to take care of my dying father, he passed away but when I came back everything was different, I wouldn't be invited to meetings, my opinion was not heard"
- And in the first opportunity they got rid of you, - I said.
- Yes, how did you know!

Story #3. One of the most mind blowing cases I´ve had.
"I wish I found a job with no men working there, like an only-women job. I'm tired of putting up with these jerks who are always harassing me, always, in every job…. I´ve been raped twice. One was in the parking lot of my company by one of my colleagues. He even threatened to harm me if I said anything. So I had to swallow that up. I don´t know a guy who doesn't want to be a smart ass with me. I don´t know how the rest of the women handle working with guys. I definitely can't. "

Story #4
"I wish I'd found a job without women, no offense doctor (sometimes my clients call me doctor), but with this liberation women feel like it is ok to abuse men. My boss right now is a slave driver. She yells at me, she mistreats me, I´ve had enough. In my previous job, my boss, a female sargeant, humiliated me every time she had a chance. In the previous one, my boss, female of course, yelled at me all the time. The sad part is that at the job interview in my last job, the person who interviewed me was a guy, he was very nice and he was going to be my boss. When they hired me he quit and this horrible woman came to replace him."

I can go on and on. It amazes me how our mind, our belief system and our environment create these traps in which we fall over and over again. So accurate, so precise. Everyone comes to see me with their own particular truth.

I have also seen positive patterns in my clients. The one that I liked the most was about this young woman called Danielle. She had a positive pattern with no buts about it.
"I have luck with this BUT, this other aspect of my life really sucks" She came with no buts.

She came for help with her resume. But her introduction was something like this:

I´m very happy in my job. I´ve only had wonderful jobs and wonderful people to work with. Everyone in my company likes me and I get promoted quite rapidly despite the fact that I don´t have a college degree. Every manager in my company wants me to work for him, life is good. Little did I know when I was in high school that the working life would be so good.

After listening to her I just wondered what she needed from me then. Everything seemed perfect in her life.

All I need from you, Alba, is help with my resume. I have never written any resume before, and because I got promoted again they asked me for my resume, not because they will interview me, It´s just a formality.

Why do you get promoted so often?
I guess because I´m a hard worker and I have a good attitude. I´ve been promoted a few times already. I started there as a receptionist, then I got promoted and became a secretary, then, an assistant, then a supervisor now I am a manager. Everything in less than 5 years.

What would happen to our lives if every time that something nice happens to us, we´d say something like:
"Wow, I´m so lucky because x happened to me. I suppose I´m ALWAYS on the right place at the right time" Wouldn´t we be starting a track hopefully as appealing as the one Danielle has?

What´s your story?

What´s your story?

If you read my article about predicting the future you´ll realize what impressed me the most in my work. Everyone has their own personal experiences, some positive and some negative, but all specific to the individual. Whatever happens to someone keeps on happening to that person over and over again...

The woman that, no matter where she works, ends up with a guy who harasses her. The guy that gets laid off every 2 years no matter what. The guy who ends up in jobs with abusive female bosses. The guy who due to illness or an accident skips work one month per year and ends up jobless. My friend who gets robbed every 3 months and my other friend who has very bad luck with guys but extremely good luck with money.

Do you have a particular situation that may be strange, unfortunate, or even funny that only happens to you? What about people you know?
Do you know someone that has strange things happening to him? Over and over again?

Someone who always arrives late no matter what
Someone who breaks a bone just before traveling
Someone who gets asthma everytime his mother-in-law comes to visit?

My grandmother used to get very VERY sick every time my parents traveled. Actually she always got sick before their left for their trip. Real illnesses, real infections, real fevers. Those incidents made my parents cancel everything for her. Until one day, when my mom was totally fed up and called her to announce that they were going to Europe and that she didn´t plan to cancel despite her multiple illnesses. She told her that if she was not feeling well, to call this phone number. They´d take care of everything for her.
What´s that phone number? – my grandma asked.

The funeral home (at least my mom chose a prestigious funeral home, which is kind of nice).
That was the last time my grandma fell ill when my parents were travelling.

Why do people or families follow patterns?
Because our beliefs rule our life and not the other way around. Please, tattoo this on your arm, print it on your forehead.
Our beliefs rule our life, and not the other way around.

How do we change our beliefs? By changing our statements (either mental or verbal).

I did not say by changing how you feel, it is very hard to change how you feel. Because the source of our feelings is our thoughts.

One thought creates a feeling, so the easiest thing to change is a thought. The feeling is going to come by itself; you will not have to worry about it.

I mentioned the word statement before. What is a statement? A statement is a declaration or remark.

These statements, sooner or later, will become part of our reality.
There are all kinds of statements:

Neutral statement:
Today is hot.
The school is 5 blocks away from here.
I like chocolate cake.
These kind of statements are usually harmless.

There are negative statements as well:
Everything that I eat makes me fat.
All the women are crybabies.
My poor son is really slow in school.
Numbers are not my thing.
My family and I are very prone to getting sick.
We´ve always been poor but very decent.

There are also, very very dangerous statements:
My loved ones are the ones that die first.
I am always so alone.
I think I will die of cancer.
I am terrified that something will happen to my children.
The end of the world is coming soon.
And the most scary part is that I've heard them from people who truly believe them.

But there are also positive statements:
I always learn very easily.
My daughter is so charismatic.
My son is a real leader.
I´m surrounded by good people.
I am as healthy as I can be.
Love comes easily to my life.
I have very good luck.

One person might say it is so hard to lose weight, whereas for someone else it might be very hard to gain weight. For one person guys are wonderful creatures, for another, guys are abusive. I can go on and on. The reason for these differences is that each of us learned different information that created unique patterns of behavior.

I want to encourage you to analyze your life, to keep track of your thoughts, and be aware of what may need to be changed. It's just a matter of self-awareness and discipline.

Self- Esteem

Self- Esteem

One of the worst problems we could ever have as human beings is having a lack of self-worth.

Self-esteem is the opinion you have about yourself. If you tend to think nice things about yourself you will be happier. If you think aggressive things about yourself you will be miserable.

People who think negative things about themselves become their worst enemy. They will not only look for ways to subconsciously punish themselves but will also will let others abuse them one way or the other. What you think about yourself has nothing to do with who you are or what you've achieved in life. It has to do with your tolerance level and with how often you are usually comparing yourself with others. It's a matter of opinions, not facts.

Do you know that we are all wearing uniforms? Some uniforms can be pretty obvious, like the uniform a police officer or a doctor wear. Other uniforms can be quite subtle, so subtle that you may not even know what uniform you are wearing.

The uniform we wear tells others not only which clothes you chose that day but also how you feel about yourself.

People feel emotions when they see us. It takes people approximately 5 seconds to realize what we have inside our heads and how we feel about ourselves.

What emotions do we get when we see a guy with torn clothes, dirty face, and reeking of alcohol following us at night? What feelings do we get when you see a nicely dressed man or woman walking with confidence near you? What emotion do you get when you see a guy with his hands in his pockets, hunching down and avoiding eye contact?

And I am not talking about clothing here, I´m talking about behavior, how we walk, how we talk, how we move, our facial expression, our voice pitch, etc.

If you read the article I wrote about the cute little nose let me ask you
What was my uniform before my nose surgery?
What was my uniform after?

My uniform changed a lot, my nose didn't. Isn't that ironic?

What uniform are you wearing?

There is this movie that I like a lot, it is about uniforms as well, when you get a chance, rent it and watch it. Its name is The Mirror Has Two Faces. In this movie there are two sisters: Rose the ugly one and Claire the pretty one. Rose, whose character is played by Barbra Streisand, is unable to date any guy. She has a crush on Pierce Brosnan but he´s obviously interested in Claire.

Finally she marries a man who doesn't treat her right, but since she believes she´s ugly she doesn't expect much from her relationship with him anyway.

One day she´s having a conversation with her mom, she tells her mom how awful life is for an ugly woman and how much better life would be if she were as pretty as her sister Claire.

-Even when we were little mom (and in the meantime she grabs a picture frame with a girl in it)
-look at how pretty my sister was as a girl, look at her rosy cheeks and her pretty lips, look at those beautiful eyes. And look at that ugly girl right there mom, I don´t even know why you have that picture of me sitting on that table.

Suddenly her mom starts laughing.
-You are so silly! The pretty girl with the rosy cheeks and pretty lips is you. The one you describe as ugly is your sister. You were indeed such a pretty child.

Then something happens in Barbra´s mind, she gets surprised, she starts feeling pretty and worthy, she realizes she has to be treated differently, and as a result, everything around her changes. She leaves her husband, she dresses differently, many guys start finding her attractive, and the only thing that changed was her opinion about herself. She didn't even need a nose job!

She took off the ugly woman uniform and she put on the beautiful woman uniform. I want to ask you again: What uniform are you wearing? Is it an opinion? Is it a fact?

Is the uniform that you are wearing the uniform you want to wear?

When you change your perception about yourself, everything around you will change as a result.

No one will ever see something in you that you haven't seen beforehand. You have to feel worthy so others start looking at you that way. Not only that, nobody will treat you in a different way than how you treat yourself.

This is how the mind works:
If I don´t love myself I don´t deserve anything good
If I don´t deserve anything good… good things will not happen to me

People with low self-esteem have the tendency to have abusive and ungrateful children, along with abusive and rude friends. They will always run into rude waiters at restaurants, they will have an evil mother-in-law, etc. People with low self-esteem tend to become victims in their relationships because they will put up with things other people wouldn't tolerate.

People with low self-esteem will never go after their dreams because those are too good to be true and, since they are not important people, they do not deserve the happiness of fulfilling their dreams.

I'm sure you remember the story I told you about the awful cookies that I baked. These cookies had very little flour and great amounts of shortening, therefore I ended up with a bunch of awful tasting cookies, and to make matters worse, I ate them all to punish myself and I made myself sick.

My recipe was wrong, the result was wrong, and therefore I punished myself because I related the recipe with my self-worth. Wrong recipes in life generate wrong results, and wrong results are closely attached to our self-esteem, IF WE ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN. A mistake doesn't make you a failure. Thinking that you are a failure will make you believe you are one.

Decide you are worthy, decide you deserve good things. Make positive affirmations over and over. A great life is ahead of you. It is OK to be down, it is OK to have bad moments sometimes. What it is not OK is to thrash yourself with verbal or mental abuse.

Paradigm change

Paradigm change

Our bodily functions are very closely related to our emotions, and our emotions are closely related to our thoughts. Our thoughts are the ones that eventually will be in charge of our mood, our happiness or our misery. Opinions are thoughts that create emotions.

Let me tell you what happened to me a few months ago.

I bought a book on Amazon, It was Oprah's book "Live Your Best Life". I bought it from one of the vendors. He had impeccable reviews, he was the perfect vendor. A month after the date I should have received it, I sent him an email reminding him of my book.
Nothing, I sent him another couple of e-mails. Nothing.
I was mad and I complained to Amazon. But I didn't get a response from Amazon right away, so I went to this vendors page and I left him my review, which was something like this:

I will not buy from this vendor again, I didn't get my book and there wasn't good communication at all. I haven't heard from Amazon either so I think I may just have lost my money.

I was thinking, I will never buy from Amazon again, ever. I don´t want to deal with this kind of service anymore. So I stayed upet for a week about a book that I didn't get and nobody seemed to care.

Later on that week I got a refund from Amazon. 2 weeks later I got the book from the vendor.
I sent him an e-mail saying: "I already received my money from Amazon. I was not expecting to get the book any more. Why did it take you forever to get back to me?"

So he replied: "Sorry for the delay, my wife just got killed in a car accident and I am overwhelmed, I have 3 little children to look after. Don´t worry about the payment, it's a gift from me."

Obviously I felt awful. I was feeling sorry for this guy who had just lost his wife. I was feeling ashamed about my review, feeling terrible that he gave me a gift when I left him a bad remark on his website.

But what about the review, I said. I dented your flawless reputation; how do I fix that?

Don´t worry about it, he said.

My first thoughts about the vendor and Amazon were something like:
I can´t believe it, both of them are such crooks, they don´t care about their customers! Fine. I will make sure everyone knows about it in the hope that people don´t get ripped off like me.

And here are my thoughts afterwards.
They are great! I got my money back and my book for free! This is outstanding service. I can tell they care about people.

I have another story for you about paradigm change.

One day I was driving in a main highway on the center lane. There wasn't traffic so I was driving at full speed just like the other cars. Suddenly the car ahead of me changed lanes. The reason why was because there was a tire sitting in my lane. Since I had no time to change lanes because there were cars on both sides of me, I had to come to a complete stop. If you are in the center lane of a high speed highway you are not expected to stop suddenly in the middle of the traffic, unless you are completely retarded.

All the cars behind me, after seeing me stop, honked their horns, swore big words at me, showed me their fingers etc. As I just sat there waiting to be able to change lanes without being able to move forward because of the tire. They really thought I was an incompetent driver for stopping in the middle of the road. Until they saw the tire.

If they had known that there was a tire there, they would have understood and they wouldn't have gotten upset.

In these two examples I just gave you, I want you to realize that we are more than likely get furious for things that are just "perceptions" not "reality".
The problem is that every time we get annoyed by trivialities we are hurting our body, affecting our blood pressure, creating an ulcer, lowering our immune system, only because we chose to be furious at some event that may not even be how we perceive it.

Every time you have the urge to feeling upset about someone or something remember:

If you really knew what is going on you probably wouldn't be upset.
If the drivers at the highway knew there was a tire in the middle of the road, they wouldn't get upset at the driver who stops suddenly on the road.
If we knew that probably the person who is driving at 100 miles per hour is taking a dying person to the hospital we wouldn't be so upset.

If we knew all the information the other person has, we wouldn't be upset. Please don't get annoyed by events you don´t even have all the information about. It's not good for your health.


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