Have you ever had the experience of being on a roll, the feelings that you could do no wrong? A time when everything seemed to go right? May be it was a tennis match when every shot hit the line or a business meeting where you had all the answers. Maybe it was a time when you amazed yourself by doing something heroic or dramatic you never thought you could do. You’ve probably had the opposite experience too – a day when nothing went right. You can probably remember times you messed up things you usually do easily, when every step was wrong, every door was locked, everything you tried turned out wrong.
What’s the difference? You’re the same person. You should have the same resources at your disposal. So, why do you produce dismal results one time and fabulous results the next? Why do even the best athletes have days when they do everything right and follow them with days when they can’t buy a basket or a base hit?
The difference is the neuro-physiological state you’re in. There are enabling states – confidence, love, inner strength, joy, ecstasy, belief that tap great wellsprings of personal power. There are paralyzing states – confusion, depression, fear, anxiety, sadness, frustration that leave us powerless. We all go in and out of good and bad states. Have you ever gone into a restaurant and had a waitress snarl “What do you want?” Do you think she always communicates like that? It is possible that she had such a difficult life that she is always like that. But it is more likely that she had a bad day handling too many tables, may be stiffed by a few customers. She’s not a bad person; she’s just in a terribly un-resourceful state. If you can change her state, you can change her behavior.
Understanding state is the key to understanding change and achieving excellence. Our behavior is the result of the state we are in. We always do the best we can with the resources available to us, but sometimes we find ourselves in un-resourceful states. There have been times in one’s life when while in a particular state, one did or said things that later he or she had to regret or was embarrassed about. May be you have to. It is important to remember these times when someone treats you poorly. Thus, you create a sense of compassion instead of anger. After all, those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Remember the waitress and other people are not their behaviors. The key then is to take charge of our states and thus our behaviors. What if you could snap your fingers and go into the most dynamic, resourceful state at will – a state in which you are excited, you are sure of success, your body is crackling with energy.
Remember, the key to power is taking action. The goal is to share how to use the states that lead to decisive congruent, committed action.
A state can be defined as the sum of the millions of neurological processes happening within us, in other words, the sum total of our experience at any moment in time. Most of our states happen without any conscious direction on our part. We see something and we respond to it by going into a state. It may be a resourceful and useful state or an un-resourceful and limiting state, but there is not much that most of us do to control it. The differences between those who fail to achieve their goals in life and those who succeed is the difference between those who cannot put themselves in a supportive state and those who can consistently put themselves in a state that supports them in their achievements.
Almost everything people want is some possible state. Make a list of the things you want in life. Love is a state, a feeling or emotion we signal to ourselves and feel within ourselves based on certain stimuli from the environment. Confidence? Respect? They are all things that we create. We produce these states within ourselves. May be you want money. You do not care about having little pieces of green paper adorned with the faces of assorted deceased notables. You want what money represents to you; the love, confidence, freedom, or whatever states you think it can help provide. So the key to love, the key to joy, the key to the power that man has sought for years the ability to direct his life – is the ability to know how to direct and manage your states.