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You may have read books on the power of the mind. There are plenty of them out there. Why? Because the mind is so powerful. Many years ago I coined an expression for one of my consulting techniques. I called it “Dreaming dreams”. It works. Like this –

Forget about where you are at, ignore how you are going to achieve your goals, simply imagine you are already there. Picture the perfect business, lifestyle, golf shot or whatever it is you would like in life. Just one dream at a time – don’t make it too complicated. Focus on the detail, see it happening in your mind, get excited about it. Don’t even think about the obstacles between you and it.

Your subconscious only understands two languages – pictures and emotions, so those are the two ways you’re going to get this dream in there. If you can get your subconscious working on it, then you don’t have to make plans with your conscious. The dream will start to come true all on its own. I always say that my subconscious is my best friend, but for most people it is their worst enemy. Dreaming dreams is a great way to get it on your side.

Now be careful what you dream. When I was a young lad of 29, Managing Director of Contronics SA, the company consistently hit so close to budget it became boring. I quit and started my own business. It did well. I got scared of losing everything. I lost everything! I started all over. At 50 I dreamed of being a CA(SA). Four years later I was a CA(SA).

In 2011 our practice took a hit in the form of the new Companies Act. Our turnover dropped by 15%. That’s a lot when your expenses are almost entirely salaries. We took harsh corrective action and dreamed that the next financial year we would hit 12% over where we were at before the drop. We beat our dream by about 1/2%.

A few years ago we dreamed that our (quite substantial) overdraft would reduce to zero. We now have a call account as we keep dipping into the black.

The only part of this that was planned was the cost cutting that we did back then. The rest arose from small seeds of ideas that came from various sources (including my lovely wife). The seeds found fertile ground (our subconscious minds) and flourished.

But do you notice anything? I have only ever achieved my dreams (or fears). So your dreams extend you, but they also limit you! Sedley Burger (here’s his son carrying on the business) taught me to set “achievable, realistic goals”. Let’s take a look at that.

Do you do any weight training? I do, daily, under our personal trainer, Zane Bower. If he says do 20 reps, I just and only just, manage 20. If he says 30 reps, I just and only just, manage 30. If he says go to failure, I think to myself “I can do 25” and guess what, I just and only just, manage 25. After a public holiday he told me that he was stiff from doing 120 pushups (6 sets of 20 each with a 30 second pause between each set). I figured, if he can do it, so can I (although he’s a lot stronger and younger than me). The next morning I started. One set, two sets, three sets. By the sixth set I was really struggling and on the 20th rep of the sixth set, my arms collapsed! I could not have done one more rep!

And have you noticed how many Comrades runners collapse at the finish? They couldn’t run another step, but they’ve just run about 80 000 steps!

So there’s the catch! If we aimed higher, would we climb higher? I think so.


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Looking for even more informative content? Check out the books I have written which have proved to be very popular.

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