Jeff Davidson's book, Simpler Living, was Amazon Kindle #1 in its category, first quarter, 2012. Jeff is featured in the NY Times, Forbes, Chicago Tribune, Businessweek, Fortune, Organized Executive, and Success.

Upgrading Your Achievement Level

Your subconscious tends to give you more of what you already have, summarily concluding that what you’re doing now is what you want to keep doing forever. In many respects, your subconscious works almost as a robot or highly sophisticated computer that keeps acting on the program it was originally fed.

The inner workings of the subconscious were introduced in 1960 by Dr. Maxwell Maltz, in his work, PsychoCybernetics. Dr. Maltz explained how the subconscious not only continues to maintain the status quo, but also lacks the ability to differentiate between a significant or insignificant event, something that you deem as good or bad, and in general passes no judgment on anything you do.

Taking Advantage of the Situation


The inability of your subconscious to pass judgment, something you might consider to be a limitation, can actually be used to great advantage. For example, if you respond with joy to the news that you’re receiving a $10,000 advance, or that you simply are getting a $10 refund from a purchase, in both instances your subconscious regards the events as positive, and most curiously, equal.

Although the events greatly differ as to financial ramifications, they both register the same on the “Richter Scale” of your subconscious. Hence, when you strive for a highly challenging goal broken into sub-goals, as you achieve each sub-goal, your subconscious works on your behalf. It concludes that your achievement is extremely positive, and it helps you move on to achieve the next subgoal, and then the next.

To the Outer Limits


The top managers at many progressive companies apparently understand the workings of the subconscious. This is shown in part when they schedule executive- or team-based retreats into nature where cooperation is essential for a successful experience.

Organizations such as Vision Quest and Outward Bound are in business expressly for the purpose of providing their customers with a strong dose of nature and teamwork. The challenges that the participants face, whether it’s trekking through mountains, rafting, or making or breaking camp, impart to each of their subconsciouses that they are capable of meeting great challenges. Routinely, total strangers leave the programs feeling like long-time comrades. In fact, many maintain their relationships for years thereafter.

An executive or work-related team that goes through such an experience returns to their normal work place bonding with each other more strongly. Sometimes, they bond in a way that didn’t happen in all the years of each person’s employment there, and which might not have happened in all the years to come.

Since the subconscious is not good at differentiating experiences or the magnitude of such experiences, a success during a retreat is fodder for the subconscious. Back at work, continued success adds to the fodder.

Yep, I Do This All the Time


While a sojourn into nature may not be in the immediate future for you, the principles and the payoff remain the same. If you accept a challenge, masterfully reach each of the subgoals, and complete the goal itself, then you’ve given your subconscious a powerful message: you routinely set and reach challenging goals.

If you set and reach challenging goals often enough, guess what? That becomes the status quo. Your subconscious has no choice but to conclude that what you’re all about is achieving what you set out to achieve.

Therefore, as it goes to work on whatever level of goal achievement you are operating, your subconscious simply does its thing. This phenomenon explains why high achievers in various arenas of life are often able to set and reach challenging goals in other areas. So, the highly successful corporate CEO also happens to be a crackerjack tennis player, mover and shaker in his community, a deeply spiritual and religious person, and so forth.

Out-of-Balance Achievers


True enough, there are numerous examples of people who have set and reached challenging goals but otherwise lack a balance in life. This is the man or woman who proverbially put all of his or her eggs in one basket.

The person who excels in one particular arena of life to the detriment of all other arenas nevertheless has vast potential for excellence in those other arenas. Why? Just as you reach challenging goals in one arena, so can you proceed in others.

Achieving your goals is all a matter of planning your course of action, writing down what you wish to achieve, determining the steps or sub-goals, and acknowledging your successes as you proceed so that your subconscious gets a clear message and goes to work for you in the direction that you’re already proceeding.

Success in One Arena Can Breed Success in Another


This is where it gets exciting. Identify where in life you consistently reach challenging goals. Then to the nth degree determine why you’ve been consistently successful. Now you practically have a ready made formula for achieving goals in other arenas of your life.

Recognize that you have the opportunity now, right before you, or at any time hereafter that you choose.

When you consider your successes, look at them with an almost third party detachment to precisely discern why indeed you reached such challenging goals. Take out those transferable elements and use them again!


Jeff Davidson is "The Work-Life Balance Expert®," is a preeminent time management authority, has written 65 mainstream books, and is an electrifying professional speaker, making 886 presentations to clients such as Lockheed Martin, Eckerd, Kaiser Permanente, IBM, American Express, Lufthansa, Swissotel, Re/Max, USAA, Worthington Steel, and the World Bank. Jeff is Executive Director of the Breathing Space Institute and the author of books such as:
  • Simpler Living (Skyhorse Publishing)
  • Dial It Down--Live it Up (Sourcebooks)
  • The 60 Second Innovator (Adams Media)
  • Breathing Space (CreateSpace)
  • Accomplishing Your Goals (Smart Guide Publications)
Jeff is the premier thought leader on work-life balance issues and has been widely quoted in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, USA Today, Businessweek, Forbes, and Fortune. Cited by Sharing Ideas Magazine as a "Consummate Speaker," Jeff believes that career professionals today in all industries have a responsibility to achieve their own sense of work-life balance, and he supports that quest through his website www.BreathingSpace.com.

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