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What is Positive Realism?

What is Positive Realism?
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“The attitude of positive realism combines both the visionary view,  as well as a realistic mode of thinking. The key aspect of positive realism is that we dream big – but then set realistic goals.” — Mary Jaksch

I connected with what Mary says here. It’s great to have big, huge, even enormous dreams, but living in that dream world is not practical.

Now, don’t get me wrong here; I am a HUGE believer in the Law of Attraction, and I definitely believe that whatever you dream can come true, but if you are only living in the rose-coloured- glasses world where you are the cheeriest person on earth without a real grasp of everyday living, you might be heading for trouble.

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A little history, just in case you didn’t know:

The basic premise of the Law of Attraction is that like attracts like. You can imagine yourself as a magnet attracting all of the circumstances, people and things in your life; your thoughts, visions, and feelings all work to attract certain things into your life.  You can learn to use the Law of Attraction just put it into practice. Look for evidence of the things you want, and don’t forget to be patient with yourself. The Law of Attraction is literally you. Don’t expect overnight changes from yourself, but  be balanced while still being open minded to great possibilities.

So how do you create that balance?

You have one side where you have great dreams and future plans and you have another side where you have your everyday life.  The bills still need to be taken care of, the kids still need to be feed, your taxes still need to be paid.

Well, as Mary says “the key aspect of positive realism is that we dream – but then set realistic goals.

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To me, goals are dreams with deadlines—I create them to challenge myself, to lead me on a journey to be a better person, to explore what I am capable of and what I can do for others. For me, life is not complete without goals so to me, this is the balance.

I feel like I literally have my dreams in one hand and my goals in another hand and they are keeping my whole life balanced.  My dreams are my map and my goals are my compass; only together will I be able to find what I am looking for in life.

I truly feel that nothing at all is impossible when I am actively using Positive Realism to propel my life forward.

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Now, how do you put this into practice?

“Through constant repetition by writing, you’re programming your unconscious mind to accept that your goals are possible, or likely, or realistic, or even already fulfilled. Then your unconscious mind will start bending reality to make your goals come true.” — Craig Childs

Imagine that you had all the money you could ever want, as well as great relationships and perfect health. Imagine you spent your life in peace and joy. If you practice the Laws of Attraction, these things can come true for you. The first thing you must do to practice the Laws is to embrace a feeling of gratitude: be thankful for everything that you have.  Focusing on the good things in your life will help you key in on positive feelings.

Positive feelings will translate into a positive energy, according to the Laws of Attraction.  When you send out this kind of positive energy, you will see good things come back to you in return.You can concentrate on the positive things by holding some kind of talisman in your pocket that will help you remember to be thankful every time you touch it.

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Know what you want and simply, ask for it.  Say it, write it, and believe in it.  Think of it as if it has already happened. Imagine that it has, using the Laws of Attraction.  Don’t do this in a whimsical, “gee wouldn’t it be swell” way, but actually close your eyes and visualize it. Don’t expect to know the method by which your dreams will come true—the Laws don’t work that way. You just need to trust that a good thing will happen, and leave the “how” up to the universe.

Knowing the Laws of Attraction can change your life.  It takes a certain mindset to work with this mindset, but it is not hard to master—it just takes time, patience, and most of all, a lot of faith.

Faith combined with realism is the winning ticket for success.   Start down the road to balancing your dreams and your goals.

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Featured photo credit: Gianandrea Villa via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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