Monday, 2 April 2012

References, real and imagined

It's easy to laugh at motivational guru Tony Robbins because he's very American and optimistic with loads of teeth. (I actually have very few teeth. It's the British way of doing things.) However, he does have some great ideas that will help you achieve stuff, providing you want help and are prepared to take action.

In his book Awaken the Giant Within Robbins has written about references: 'How do we turn an idea into a belief? Let me offer you a simple metaphor to describe the process. If you think of an idea as being like a tabletop with no legs, you'll have a fair representation of why an idea doesn't feel as certain as a belief. Without any legs, that tabletop won't even stand by itself. Belief, on the other hand, has legs. If you really believe, "I'm sexy", how do you know you're sexy? Isn't it true that you have some references to support the idea - some experiences in life to back it up? Those are the legs that make your tabletop solid, that make your belief certain.' (I'm not particularly interested in being sexy, by the way, even though I know damn well I am sexy.) Robbins goes on to say that these references can be real or imagined. Apparently, your brain can't tell the difference. I'll give you an example from my own life. (Nothing to do with sex.) When I decided recently that I wanted to become a great songwriter the only references I had were from twenty years ago when I wrote around thirty reasonably okay songs. (Two or three of them were rather good.) This gave me the confidence that I could write songs again. (So, these were real references.) Then I wrote my first new song, Gilly Marie. (A pretty good commercial song, but it won't set the world alight.) Then I started to imagine. I started to imagine that I could write songs like Bacharach and David or Lennon and McCartney. Crazy? I really started to believe it. I put all my passion into it. (Imagined references!) And then last week, after months of "fantasizing" about writing a great song, I wrote ... a great song. 'Oh, says you! You might be deluding yourself.' Yes, I might be deluding myself. But I know I'm not. I'm excited again (or maybe for the first time) about life in general, amazingly. Now, I can look forward with optimism. And I want to write more great songs. As for the teeth, I'll be able to buy myself some when the royalties start coming in.