I was recently invited to deliver an inspirational message to a graduating batch. I shared with them a simple formula I’ve been using for the longest time. I believe it has been helping me achieve my goals.
It may not have worked a hundred percent, but I’d say it has a good batting average, and it has amazed me a number of times as I achieved what others told me was simply not possible.
By no means is it an original formula. You can read it presented in other forms in inspirational books. But what I did was organize it into a personalized “formula”—actually an acronym—which I could easily remember.
I’ve realized over the years that hard work alone is not enough to achieve success. Our thoughts and emotions—and that includes our trust and faith in God, the source of everything we are meant to enjoy on earth
—are vital in achieving anything significant.
Hard work, dedication and commitment can get us some distance, but it won’t really get us as far if we still harbor negative thoughts and feelings, like anger, mistrust, envy, revenge, jealousy and pessimism.
These negative thoughts and feelings are actually a main source of disease. If our body is not relaxed and at ease in our daily lives, stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline shoot up, elevating our blood pressure, making our heartbeat race and constricting our blood vessels. This impairs circulation to all organs of the body.
Hence, our tissues are in a relative state of ischemia or lack of nutrition and oxygen. If this persists for some time, all types of disease, including heart disease and cancer, can manifest.
That’s the simple explanation for disease. It’s actually due to “dis-ease,” meaning the body is not at ease, always in a tense state.
So, if we want to remain healthy, happy and successful, allow only positive thoughts—
love, joy, forgiveness, contentment, gratefulness, wishing other people, including our enemies, well—to grow in your mind. It requires some effort, because the default state of our mind is to harbor negative thoughts if we don’t do anything to control them.
Some have likened our subconscious mind to a garden, with our conscious mind as the gardener. If the gardener does not do anything to his garden, weeds and wild plants grow. If he wants to have a beautiful garden, he has to tend to it every day by removing the weeds and planting fruit-bearing and other plants which make the garden relaxing and invigorating.
We should do the same for our conscious and subconscious brains. That’s why short periods of meditation several times a day make a great practice. We can plant blossoms in our subconscious minds during this time.
It all starts in our mind, and once our thoughts are embedded in our subconscious, our conscious mind and body soon act in consonance with our thoughts. So, we have to make sure we only entertain and nurture positive thoughts.
Reinforce these positive thoughts with positive feelings and emotions, as if we’ve already achieved our goals, and the realization of these goals will subsequently materialize. No doubt about it.
I turned this formula for success into an acronym: ADB-VEST
A is for aim. Always aim at something high and lofty, and most important, pleasing to God.
D is for desire. If you have that burning desire to achieve something, it will really fire you up to do everything you can.
B is for believe. If you sincerely believe you can achieve your goals, then you will.
V is for visualize. Picture your goal in your mind daily, like a movie with you in it. Imagine how you would look, feel, and how others will look at you and say nice things.
E is for emotionalize. Put strong emotions into how you’d feel when all your dreams, even your wildest dreams, come true. Feel it like it’s already happening in the present time.
S is for sharing. Whatever blessings you receive because you have achieved your goals, share generously. In fact, share in advance even if you have not received the blessings yet, if you see someone who needs your help badly.
T is for thanksgiving. Have a grateful heart always. In everything, good or bad, praise and express gratitude to God. He knows what is best for us, and many times, setbacks are just necessary preludes to success. God always answers our prayers. It may be “yes,” “no” or “wait a while, it’s not the right time.”