Personal Growth
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Personal Growth

The 4 Pillars for Building Your Personal Core

“Our minds become magnetized with the dominating thoughts we hold in our minds and these magnets attract to us the forces, the people, the circumstances of life which harmonize with the nature of our dominating thoughts.” — Napoleon Hill

Approach every day with the mindset that you are going to improve in one area of your life today. When you do, your concentration and focus will pay off. Sometimes that one area will be specific. Other times it will be less defined. Thinking this way creates an expectation — optimism that opportunity will come your way. You attract more opportunities with a positive mindset.

Professor Barbara Fredrickson is a social psychologist from the University of North Carolina, who has researched human emotions for 25 years. What she has to say about positive emotions contribute toward this mindset of expectation:

“Positive emotions… expand our awareness so that in the moment that we are experiencing positive emotions, our peripheral vision expands, our ability to take in more of our surroundings and connect the dots and see the big picture is facilitated… having more moments of that open mindset help us connect with others and build our relationships, it helps us build our resilience, it helps us build our physical health because we become more energetic.” Source

I’m a major advocate for instilling your foundation with values, which serve as the core for how you make decisions. I’ve written a book on this that will be out soon. Values like discipline, respect and integrity are at the heart of values structures for a reason. They provide you with a framework for how to live your day with confidence. You know you can rely on your values through thick and thin, without having to question yourself.

In the values-based coaching that I’ve done, I’ve found that each individual benefits from having a strong foundation. Herein are four pillars that form the foundation of your personal core.

1. Trust

If you’re going to get anywhere in life, you have to — at minimum — believe in yourself. There’s a reason this is #1 — you have to be honest with yourself. You have to trust in your abilities, believe things will work out and believe the right people will come into your life to help you. Sound pretty basic? Well let me explain the alternative.

If you live in doubt, fear of success, anxiety and worry, your mind will veer toward negative outcomes. You’ll start to trust yourself less, lose faith in others and gradually begin down a road of hopelessness. Faith is the bedrock of any values foundation. It’s essential to our success.

Whether secular or divinely appointed, faith has worked for successful people like Steve Jobs, Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi. Believe in yourself first, then let faith permeate all areas of your life.

2. Curiosity

Intellectual curiosity sustains us because it leads toward desire, inquisitiveness and inspires enthusiasm and passion. We are drawn to that which innately interests us. For me, those things are writing, helping people develop through coaching and the game of basketball. What are you curious about?

You probably already know the answer. The next question is, are you spending your time thinking and doing those things? Even if you know them well, I bet there’s more you can know about the things that stimulate your thoughts. As you meet new people, you learn new concepts and ideas. I recently started working at a software company and I’ve come to find myself intrigued by how technology platforms are considered.

I wouldn’t have previously thought this. Curiosity promotes open-mindedness, allowing you to embrace what’s new and pursue that which excites you.

3. Spirit

What are you going to will yourself to do today? The human spirit is built to last. What I mean is, we’re creatures of survival! We’re meant to keep going and thirsting for more knowledge. The human spirit drives us to explore a better life and to ensure life endures for the future population.

Spirit is comprised of things like a healthy competitive nature, courage and perseverance. Wanting something, hoping and building toward it. Spirit for me is so much about desire. Find something that inspires you. Then, once you’ve put together an intelligent plan, work relentlessly to integrate it into your life. Then, tell me about all the joy it gives you.

4. Heart

I finish with heart, which at its heart, is about love, kindness and doing good for others without expecting the same in return. What is it about this mindset, this devotion to living, loving and acting with joy in your heart? It contributes to a positive mindset. There is a scientific truth to altruism. Read what Dr. Stephen G. Post says about the science of doing good:

“Studies of telomeres — the end-caps of our genes — show that long-term stress can shorten those end-caps, and shortened end-caps are linked with early death. These studies indicate that we’re dealing with something that’s extremely powerful. Ultimately, the process of cultivating a positive emotional state through pro-social behaviors — being generous — may lengthen your life.” Source

Love and be kind toward others. This positive mindset will lead you toward loving those actions. We all experiences lows and down moments, but someone who is positive is game-planning against those times — so they don’t last. I hope these pillars help you make sense of your values structure. Please share your thoughts below or contact me on my website!

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