Issue 12, July 6, 2009 —
Steve Pavlina, How to Build Your Power
In this issue:FEATURE: Steve Pavlina, How to Build Your Power Guy Finley, Ten Causes of Needless Heartaches Sharon Elaine, Write Your Own Affirmations Verusha Singh, If Pigs Did Fly Chuck Gallozzi, Unlocking the Power of Words Julie Cohen, Networking is Not a Dirty Word Sally Tippett Rains, Get Going! Wider Screenings, Disney's Family?EventsReviewsEarlier issues
like your muscle tissue, power weakens from lack of use and grows
stronger when exercised. The more you train your power, the more
powerful you become. Everyone has some power, but not everyone develops
it to the same degree. Here are some methods to train yourself to
become more powerful.
good way to build power and especially self-discipline is to
progressively train yourself to tackle bigger challenges. When you
train your muscles, you lift weights that are within your ability. You
push your muscles until they fail, and then you rest. Similarly, you
can develop your power by taking on challenges that you can
successfully accomplish but that push you close to your limits. This
doesn’t mean trying something that’s beyond your strength and failing
at it repeatedly, nor does it mean playing it safe and staying within
your comfort zone. You must tackle challenges that are within your
current ability to handle but which are close to your limit.
training requires that once you succeed, you must increase the
challenge. If you keep working at the same level, you won’t get much
It’s a mistake to push yourself too hard when trying
to build your power. If you attempt to transform your entire life
overnight by setting dozens of new goals for yourself, you’re almost
certain to fail. This is like a person who goes to the gym for the
first time ever and packs 300 pounds on the bench press. You’ll only
look silly. Accept your current starting point without judging yourself
If you’re starting from a very low point in your life,
you may find it extremely challenging just to get yourself out of bed
before noon and pay your bills on time. Later, you may progress to
making dietary improvements, starting an exercise program, and breaking
harmful addictions. As you gain more power over your life, you can take
on bigger goals, such as building the career of your dreams and
attracting a fulfilling relationship.
Don’t compare yourself to
other people. If you think you’re weak, everyone else will seem strong.
If you think you’re strong, everyone else will seem weak. There’s no
point in doing this. Simply look at where you are now, and aim to get
stronger as you go forward.
Suppose you want to develop the
ability to complete eight solid hours of work each weekday. Perhaps you
try to work a solid eight-hour day without succumbing to distractions,
and you only manage to do it once. The next day you fail utterly.
That’s perfectly fine. You did one rep of eight hours. Two is too much
for you, so cut back a little. Could you work with high concentration
for one hour a day, five days in a row? If you can’t do that, cut back
to 30 minutes or whatever you can do. If you succeed, increase the
challenge. Once you’ve mastered a week at one level, take it up a notch
the next week. Continue with this progressive training until you’ve
reached your goal.
By raising the bar just a little each week,
you stay within your capabilities and grow stronger over time. When
doing actual weight training, the work you do doesn’t mean anything.
There’s no intrinsic value in lifting a piece of metal up and down. The
value comes from the resulting muscle growth. However, when building
your power and self-discipline, you also gain the benefit of the work
you’ve done along the way, so that’s even better. It’s great when your
training produces something of value and makes you stronger at the same
time. That’s a double win.
Master the First Hour
been said that the first hour is the rudder of the day, meaning that
the way you start your day will tend to set the tone for the rest of
it. If you adopt a disciplined routine for your first waking hour,
you’ll probably enjoy a highly productive day. But if you squander that
first hour, it’s likely the rest of the day will be equally
unspectacular. Conquer that first hour by exercising, reading,
cleaning, writing, or doing other productive tasks.
have told me that whenever they complete an important task first thing
in the morning, they gain a tremendous feeling of well-being and energy
that lasts for hours. I’ve experienced this as well. Finishing an
important task early in the day is motivating and energizing. When you
conquer that first hour, you feel that no matter what else happens,
your day is already a success.
as a salesperson might have a monthly sales quota to meet, you can use
the concept of quotas to improve your performance in any endeavor.
Establish a daily minimum output goal for yourself in some area of your
life. This ensures constant forward progress and is a fantastic way to
develop your self-discipline.
You can use any metric you want as
long as it works for you. A writer could set a daily quota of words,
paragraphs, or pages to write each day. If you’re organizing your
finances, you could set a quota of processing a certain number of
transactions or receipts per day.
I’ve experimented with both
action-based and outcome-based quotas. At first I preferred the former
because the targets were more controllable. It’s easier for me to
commit to writing for two hours per day versus writing 2,000 words per
day. Unfortunately, I found that when I used action-based quotas, my
results were weaker. I’d put in the time, but I wouldn’t maintain the
same compulsion to closure. Today I prefer outcome-based quotas, such
as completing a new article, because I find them more effective and
I encourage you to experiment with daily quotas to
see what works best for you. Start with small ones that you can easily
achieve, and gradually increase them to keep yourself in the sweet spot
of challenge. ###
Personal Development for Smart People is published by Hay House
is widely recognized as one of the most successful personal development
bloggers on the Internet, attracting more than two million monthly
readers to his website, StevePavlina.com. He has written more than 900
articles and recorded many audio programs on a broad range of self-help
topics, including productivity, relationships, and spirituality. Steve
has been quoted as an expert by the New York Times, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, the Los Angeles Daily News, Self Magazine, and The Guardian. He is also a frequent guest on radio and Internet radio shows.
Steve's book Personal Development for Smart People was published by Hay House in 2008 and has been translated into a dozen different languages.
Personal Development for Smart People The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth by STEVE PAVLINA
promises of “fast and easy” results from slick marketers, real personal
growth is neither fast nor easy. The truth is that hard work, courage,
and self-discipline are required to achieve meaningful results—results
that are not attained by those who cling to the fantasy of achievement
Development for Smart People reveals the unvarnished truth about what
it takes to consciously grow as a human being. As you read, you’ll
learn the seven universal principles behind all successful growth
efforts (truth, love, power, oneness, authority, courage, and
intelligence); as well as practical, insightful methods for improving
your health, relationships, career, finances, and more.
see how to become the conscious creator of your life instead of feeling
hopelessly adrift, enjoy a fulfilling career that honors your unique
self-expression, attract empowering relationships with loving,
compatible partners, wake up early feeling motivated, energized, and
enthusiastic, achieve inspiring goals with disciplined daily habits and
its refreshingly honest yet highly motivating style, this fascinating
book will help you courageously explore, creatively express, and
consciously embrace your extraordinary human journey.