A client in my “Year With Morty” course recently reminded me of a principle I usually live out of, but had not thought about consciously for some time. I immediately realized that it was a great topic for a blog post.
Here’s the way my client put it:
Last year I tripled the revenue from my business. I started to figure out how much more we could increase revenues in 2015 and I suddenly realized that what we did last year really has nothing to do with our revenues this year. This year’s revenues will be a function of what I create them to be now and throughout the year, not anything that happened last year
Events in the past do not affect the future
I have been saying for some time that our lives are not a function of what’s happened to us in the past; they are a function of the meaning we gave (the beliefs we formed about) those events. For example, being emotionally or even physically abused as a child does not affect your behavior, emotions, or general well being as an adult; the beliefs you form at the time of the abuse (such as I don’t deserve to be treated well, I’m not good enough, and people can’t be trusted) will have a significant impact on the rest of your life.
But there is a significant distinction to be made here. The events can’t be changed, so if your future was determined by your past, there would be nothing you could do to impact your future. Luckily our lives are not determined by old events, but by the meaning you gave those events. And, more importantly, those beliefs can be unlearned.
It would be more accurate to state that the future is a function of the present, in other words, today’s beliefs and commitments will determine tomorrow’s results. And the present can easily be changed, thereby changing the future.
Past earnings do not determine future earning
This same principle is applicable to anything in life, including the amount of money you want to make this year. It is relevant to know how much you made last year and from what sources and what skills/abilities you have that enabled you to earn the money. And if you believe you don’t deserve to have money, or you are not capable or competent, etc., then those beliefs can certainly affect your ability to earn money.
But ultimately, how much money you make next year is a function of how much you commit to making today, the actions you take to support your commitment during the next year, and your success at removing any barriers you have to taking action.
As I’ve written about several times recently, virtually all the barriers to achieving what you want in life exist in your mind, not in the world. These barriers consist of beliefs, your occurrings (the meanings you give to events as they happen all day long), and your inability to devise strategies to reach your goals that no one else has ever thought of—strategies that most people agree can’t be implemented.
When you develop a mindset that views virtually anything as possible, when you stop giving meaning to moment-to-moment events (thereby stopping the fear and stress that often stops people from acting), and when you unlearn the beliefs that create the behavioral barriers to taking action, you will be able to do and achieve virtually anything you want.
Why daring goals are sometimes easier to reach than incremental improvements
Sometimes the more audacious your goal, the more likely you are to achieve it. Let me explain why. If you want to improve your relationship a little bit or make a little more money than last year, then you will try to do what you did last year, but a little more, a little different, and a little better. Because you are starting with what you’ve already accomplished and are trying to just improve it a little bit, you will assume that what you’ve been doing works and you just need some slight modifications.
But … if you have not unlearned any beliefs, if you have not learned to dissolve your occurrings as they happen every day, and if you live with a mindset like most people, where your “world” is filled with hidden limitations—you probably will have a hard time even improving slightly over last year.
On the other hand, if you have an outrageous goal, you will quickly realize that you can’t achieve it doing essentially what you did last year with just a few minor changes. Incremental changes over last year will not be sufficient to reach a really daring goal. When you realize that you will be forced to look for strategies that no one has ever thought of before, you will see the need to eliminate the fear and stress that make taking action difficult, and you see the need to eliminate the beliefs that cause behavioral barriers (such as procrastination). If do you all this, your chance of achieving whatever you commit to achieve, having nothing to do with last year’s result, is excellent.
How I applied this principle to Lefkoe Institute
Let me tell you about some of my plans for the Lefkoe Institute that might clarify this distinction. When people first discover the effectiveness of The Lefkoe Method (TLM), they often ask us: “I’ve gotten so much value so quickly. How come I didn’t know about this before? How come the entire world doesn’t know about you?”
My answer has always been: “We’re working on it. Eventually everyone will know about the contribution we can make to people’s quality of life” But I didn’t really know why so few people knew about us 30 years after I first created the Lefkoe Belief Process.
What I realized just recently is that we have never created a strategy consistent with our mission, which is “to empower people to free themselves from their stress and emotional suffering and create unimagined new possibilities for their lives.” That’s an audacious mission, but our annual strategies are based on what we think people on our mailing list might want from us and making available new processes I create.
So each year I create one or two new courses and we offer the old ones on a schedule that is consistent with what our customers say they want from us. Each year we make a bigger difference in more lives. But that results in incremental improvement each year; that approach to creating strategy does not take into account our vision. At the rate we are going, it will take 50 years before the culture as a whole is even aware of TLM.
The Lefkoe Institute’s new audacious goals
So we are about to create several audacious goals: In the next five years we will have at least 10 million people use and get value from our new Lefkoe Freedom Process-App, and at least a million people will get to the point where they experience very few occurrings (and virtually no stress) and can quickly dissolve the few occurrings that they might have in a week.
As is true for all audacious goals, this goal cannot possibly be achieved doing a little bit more, better, and different from what we did last year. We will have to think things we have never thought and do things we have never done before to reach that number of people. I’ve already stopped giving meaning to most events and I’ve unlearned most of the beliefs that could result in barriers to me taking action. So what I need to focus on now is using Possibilities Thinking to think about our business in a way I never have before.
I already see that I need to hire several more people and raise a bunch of money to fund all the things we will have to do to reach my new audacious goal.
Do you want to create your future?
Try creating your future instead of projecting it from the past and then let me know what you notice.
Thanks for reading my blog. Please post your questions or comments on my idea that the future is not a function of the past and that often it is easier to achieve an audacious goal than to try to make incremental improvements over what you accomplished in the past. Disagreement is as welcome as agreement. Your comments add value for thousands of readers. I love to read them all and I will respond to as many as I can.
If you want others to improve their lives as you have with the information on my posts, please share this blog post with them by using the buttons located below.
If you haven’t yet eliminated at least one of your limiting self-esteem beliefs using the Lefkoe Belief Process, go to our interactive online belief-unlearning program where you can unlearn several limiting beliefs free.
You also can find out about Natural Confidence, an interactive digital program that enables you to unlearn 19 of the most common beliefs, which cause some of the most common behavioral and emotional problems that plague us.
Copyright © 2015 Morty Lefkoe