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One of the amazing things about being human is the power of intention. I think there tends to be a lot of esoteric thought surrounding the concept of intention-setting, but I think it is actually a very logical thing. Where our intention goes, so does our focus. Focus, when followed by drive, commitment and discipline, tends to yield stellar results. The mind has so much capability! Here’s an easy example: When a person decides they want buy a house, they generally make a savings plan for it. When they commit to and stay disciplined about this plan, they eventually get the house. It’s pretty straightforward. But what about the less tangible things? What if your intention is to be “successful” or simply to be “happy”? How do you make a plan to achieve something that isn’t quite so tangible? The answer is in your head. Below are my 5 Steps to Unlock the Power of the Mind.

1. Make it Tangible – The fact of the matter is that intentions like these need to be made as tangible as possible. Success and happiness are both things that look very different to every person. The first step is to develop your own unique definition for this thing that you desire. Envision what a future with this “success”, “happiness”, etc. would be like. What does it feel like emotionally for you to embrace this thing? What does it look like? Where are you when you’re fulfilling this desire? What did it take for you to get there? How granular can you get with this vision?

2. Make a Game Plan – Now that you can see your goal in a more tangible way, what’s the path you need to take to get there? Can you map it out by working backwards from that vision of the future to where you are now? Break it down into bite-sized steps. This is your game plan. What small step can you take today to start executing your plan?

3. Steer your Thoughts – The power of the mind is incredible. When you place profound mental focus on something, it’s amazing how it can absolutely consume your reality. Thoughts can feel like a gravitational force. This is powerful in both positive and negative ways. The danger here, is that it is really easy to focus on things that you do not want or on things you fear. The mind can draw these things toward us too. If you are really scared of something, how can you redirect your thoughts to the opposite and positive side of the equation? For example, if you’re afraid of falling ill, can you focus on good health habits and how great it feels to nourish your body? If you’re afraid of poverty, can you divert your focus to how valuable your skills are and how much you can help the people who hire you with those skills? The power of positive thinking isn’t just garb used by motivational speakers – it truly influences your actions. The right actions will get you to the places we want to go, and the wrong actions will drive you towards the places you fear.

4. Stay Committed – When the going gets tough, it can be easy to fall out of commitment. You might really want to give up. You might doubt yourself and think you were crazy for ever wanting to start your journey in the first place. You need to see these times of challenge for what they are: lessons. Struggles are temporary and they are also great teachers. If you want to achieve something new, you need to become someone new. When you move through a challenge, you’re shedding an old skin and stepping into a newer, better one. Stay the course. Stay committed.

5. Self-Discipline – Our time on earth is finite. Most will argue that time is the most valuable resource we have because we cannot purchase more of it. So how might you make the most of your time? Napoleon Hill stated that, “We must use self-discipline to control our use of time.” He felt that self-discipline is the one thing that individuals need more than anything else. To master discipline over self, he suggested that, “You’ve got to have a system to go by… You’ve got to keep your mind occupied at all times with all the things and all the circumstances and all the desires of your choice, and strictly off of the things that you don’t want.” I think this is great advice, but I think there is more involved than sticking to a plan. Self-discipline is a trained mindset. You have to remember why you are choosing your specific actions of discipline. You have to remember your long-term goal and place your focus there. It takes away the fear of missing out that can easily push us offtrack. Like the cheesy but true advice they always give in fitness circles, “Choose what you want most, not just what you want right now.”

These five steps to access the power of the mind will seriously change your world. They’ve changed mine time and time again, especially over the last couple of years. I actually get compliments on my level of discipline – something I never thought I’d ever be commended on. Not that I was undisciplined, I just never realized it was something that would ever stand out. I have to tell you though, getting that kind of compliment feels great because I know how hard I’ve worked on myself.

What steps do you follow to unlock the power of your mind and achieve your goals? How do you personally define success and happiness? I’d love to hear in the comments below!