Your ego is conditioned to see success through external things. The entire world is seeking external success for survival or status. In this episode, we help you see how you already have the success your desire by turning your mind inward and understanding:
How to Use Your Mind to Succeed
Welcome to CreativeMind Soul Sessions with Debra Berndt Maldonado and Dr. Rob Maldonado, founders of CreativeMind. Explore personal growth with us through Jungian psychology, Eastern spirituality, and social neuroscience in a deep but practical way. Let's begin.
Debra Maldonado 00:26
Hello, everyone, welcome back to Soul Sessions. This is the last of our series on how to succeed without losing your soul. Today's topic is how to use your mind to succeed instead of work, work, work.
Robert Maldonado 00:45
I think we established that it's our mind that stops us, it's the one that makes us fail. It’s also the one that helps us succeed.
Debra Maldonado 00:58
When I first started trying to succeed, we all do, we want to look for that external, light at the end of the tunnel, that approval, that acknowledgement, that confirmation from something external that things are working. I hear this question a lot, why do I keep getting the same results, why am I stuck? We all have had those moments in our life. If you're stuck, this is perfect for you. It really comes down to you taking responsibility for the results. Internal creates the external, not the other way around. I think that's really what we're going to cover today. Where does success really come from?
Robert Maldonado 01:45
It is one of the hardest lessons because our senses are designed to perceive things in the opposite direction. We think we're reacting to external circumstances. We think the external circumstances have more power than me, I'm simply reacting and doing my best given the situation. But that's not reality. What is happening is, the external simply reflects our internal mind, our internal state of mind.
Debra Maldonado 02:19
If you say “I'm gonna put it out there and see if it sticks, if this is viable”, and you don't have an intention or passion around it, you most likely will get a mixed result. Because you're putting ambiguity out there, you're gonna get ambiguity back. We’re going to go through the three elements. When people fail, when they want something, they feel stuck, or they're not getting results, they asked us “What do I do? I failed, I keep failing. I don't know what to do.” We talked about in the last episode, the Wright brothers tried 400 times to fly that darn plane, finally did it. If you look at all the greatest inventions in the world, there's always been a great hurdle for that person to overcome to get where they are.
Robert Maldonado 03:14
The first step is always to accept that it is your mind. Because, again, the tendency is so powerful to blame the external, to say “I would be successful if I was in a different city, if I had a different partner, if I had a different bank account”, etc. Any of those things are factors, we want to look at them and consider them, but they are not the cause of success and failure. The cause is the mind.
Debra Maldonado 03:53
Did you know that there were more millionaires created during the Great Depression than any other time in history? I don't know if the Great Recession that happened in 2008 was also a part of inspiring people to become entrepreneurs. We all think the economy has to be doing great for everyone to do well. When the economy is good, it means that everyone has their job, they're feeling comfortable. It's that discomfort when things aren't working out there that you have to turn inward. I always feel that when you've exhausted all options, you're feeling on your knees and that feeling of failure, I don't know if I can make it, it forces you to look inward, it forces you to say “What's going on here? Where do I go from here?” I think sometimes we need to get to that point to really start turning inward.
Robert Maldonado 04:48
It is a mental discipline we're talking about. You have to be able to discipline your mind. Very much like any chariot, or car, or vehicle, you have to learn how to drive it, so it goes in the direction that you want it to go, instead of away.
Debra Maldonado 05:14
We have to basically take control of our own mind and drive where we want to go. Many times, people even forget to set intentions. It's such a simple thing. You can't just set intentions, like “I intended” and then it doesn't work out, it was not meant to be. But you have to powerfully set intentions in a deeper way, we're going to talk about that. Let's start with what happens when someone fails. What would they do in that moment? What would you tell someone? What would you do in that moment?
Robert Maldonado 05:52
The first principle is that you have to see it as an opportunity, which of course is the hardest thing because failure feels bad in our mind body. It feels like disappointment, failure, regret, doing it wrong, what are other people going to think about me, etc. All of those things are part of the pattern, of that mindset that has created the results. If you buy into those thoughts, you will simply repeat the pattern, you will recreate that again, even if you go to another city, get another career or another job, change everything externally. Because that mindset is still there, it will create the same results.
Debra Maldonado 06:49
If they’re getting the same results, what do they do? I always suggest to pay attention to how you respond to failure. There's an opportunity, and I guarantee you're not seeing it as opportunity, you want to bulldoze past it, you want to skip over it, you want to figure out what it is, so you don't fail anymore versus “This is something I should learn from.” If you change how you respond to failure, everything starts to change. But if you respond the same way, you're gonna keep getting the same results. I’d say quite simply, change the way you respond to failure, let's look at this as an opportunity, step one. If you fail, you're like “Here's an opportunity.” But say, like the Wright Brothers, you've tried 400 times, this way, upside down, all these different things, you keep feeling, nothing's working. Whether you're looking for love, or trying to get along with your partner, or trying to get a promotion, or starting your own business, there's that feeling of you feeling defeated, this must not be meant for me, this might not be in my plan, I'm not talented enough, fill in the blank enough, to have this thing. We start to really get down on ourselves, we feel this tamas energy, as they say in the Upanishads, slowing down, defeatist way. How do we get back into motivation? How do we shift that when we're in that place, besides looking at it as an opportunity? What do we do to turn it around?
Robert Maldonado 08:32
Seeing it as an opportunity is the first step because it clears the mind of that false assumption of buying into the thought, or trying to push it away, trying to avoid it, trying to distract ourselves with something else. We simply stay with it. We say “If this is an opportunity, what can I learn from it?” In staying with it and examining it, it's going to teach us precisely the lesson that we need in order to move forward.
Debra Maldonado 09:11
I find that it reveals what it really is that we fear, that we think getting the result will make us avoid. Whatever we're trying, if we're doing it from ego, we're usually doing it to avoid something and to move from one place to another, a self identity from one identity, maybe a failure to have success or to fit in or whatever it is that we're attached to. Failure reveals that undercurrent, what is really underneath my desire. It gives you a chance to purify your mind from that ego desire. You start to ask yourself “Why do I want this?”, having more clarity of why you want it.
Robert Maldonado 09:54
A lot of people ask “How do I know if it's what I'm meant to be doing? If I fail at something, should I try something else?” The answer is simple. It's not what you do, it’s the mindset. If the mindset is of one a possibility, success, learning, being open to whatever shows up, it does not matter what you choose, whether you choose to stay or to go. Either choice will lead to success. On the contrary, if your mindset is one of defeat, of “I did something wrong, there's no possibility here, I'm going to fail”, then that also becomes your destiny, whether you stay or go, you will create the same pattern of defeat again.
Debra Maldonado 10:55
Wouldn't you agree that it's much more than mindset? Mindset is to be accessible part. But it's really about becoming a person who thinks like that, becoming the person who sees opportunities naturally, who believes naturally, not just covering up your old ego and saying “I'm going to be positive”, polishing up the ego to be a positive person. It's really about where do I need to grow in myself, who do I need to evolve to be. When I was younger and first starting out, there were women that were really powerful, they had strong boundaries, and I was such a pleaser. I would be like “That woman has such a presence about her. What would it take for me to become like her? How I need to evolve in order to have more success?” Not to be like her, but to have those qualities, not a personality trait, but more like beingness and presence that actually is able to hold the success that you want. Because if you're insecure and feeling small, why would you get more responsibility or things you can't handle that are only going to challenge you more? It is like “Where do I need to grow to become the person who has the things that I want?” That's beyond just mindset, it is becoming where that's natural.
Robert Maldonado 12:25
It goes back to what is the nature of the mind. Think of it as a stage, whatever arises, whatever shows up on the stage. What you're describing there is that there was a situation with the failure. Then you saw that this person arose in your awareness that had certain qualities. That's your mind as well. Everything is occurring within that sphere of the mind.
Debra Maldonado 12:58
It's what we would say is the shadow, the part that we haven't integrated yet.
Robert Maldonado 13:02
It's showing you something you need to learn.
Debra Maldonado 13:05
It's not acquiring that knowledge but becoming able to express. Who do I need to become to express that confidence, to express that certainty, to stand up for myself more, to keep boundaries? It's not about basically changing behavior but becoming someone that's natural. It feels like this is who I am. I'm not doing it to manipulate you. I'm doing this because this is who I am.
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Robert Maldonado 14:28
As you perceive these things that arise in your consciousness, you start to see them as part of you. They are rising because they are you. You would not be able to perceive them and to think about them if they were not part of you. Everything you think, everything you feel, everything you dream is your own consciousness, your own awareness. A lot of the work is simply remembering that this is also part of me. The tendency is to think that person has these qualities, but they're special, they’re unique.
Debra Maldonado 15:17
I can never be confident like that woman or strong like that person, I've been weak my whole life. We get defined by those patterns, we think we are patterns. What you're saying is that where you see yourself beyond the patterns of who you thought you were who you're becoming, that's it. You’re a verb, not an object, not a subject.
Robert Maldonado 15:45
As we're doing that, the higher knowledge that says “You can create your reality with your thoughts” becomes the truth, because that's what's happening. As you understand the higher principles, your thoughts create your reality, your thoughts will literally create who you become, what you experience in life, success, etc, because that is the principle.
Debra Maldonado 16:16
If you think positive, I used to write checks to myself and vision boards, but if you don't change who you are, it's like a conflict, because you really don't believe it because you haven't had it before. You're thinking “I'm me, that has more stuff.” But what we're really doing is saying “Who am I? Who is my real self? What is my real self? My real self creates these things.” It's really a shifting of who you think you are versus just thinking positive or acting with power or courage.
Robert Maldonado 16:55
Most people believe they are their persona, the personality they've developed from past experiences. It's based on conditioning, your past conditions you to think of yourself in a certain way, to think of what's possible for yourself in a certain way. That conditioning, there's nothing wrong with it, it will help you survive. But that's not reality. It's simply a function of the mind and the ego function, the persona function. As you start to realize, what is the nature of consciousness, everything I think I perceive I can imagine is a type of reality, a potential reality, then you're understanding things in the correct way. Then you can start to direct the mind in the direction that you want to see your life evolving and unfolding.
Debra Maldonado 17:56
I remember when we were driving from New York to California, it was when we first started working together, we started in 2012, it’s our 10 year anniversary. In 2013 we rode cross country and stayed overnight at a hotel midway. I had a dream that night. I'm not a singer, Rob can attest. But I was on this huge stage, and I was singing the song, The Impossible Dream. I sang it with perfect pitch, and people were applauding, I woke up that day and just felt high. The dreams show us who we're becoming. I love that song, The Impossible Dream. It's wonderful and empowering. It was like a message from my inner self saying “This is who you're becoming.” So much has changed in the past 10 years since we started working together. That's a way we can not only externally see people that are inspiring, but we can actually have experiences of our true nature in our dreams.
Robert Maldonado 19:12
It's a big part of it to connect with that wisdom from within. There is an intelligence within us that is much more vast than our conscious awareness. Our conscious mind is the tip of the iceberg. Most of the psyche is unconscious.
Debra Maldonado 19:34
In the Vedanta books, they talk about a cork bobbing on the top of the ocean, that is our ego. The waves are our soul and the currents of life. The unconscious is everything underneath. You think about this little cork, that's what we mostly focus on. There's so much potential within us. What would be a way for people to start visualizing their goal, what would be the best way for them to get started to access their impossible dream?
Robert Maldonado 20:06
Now we understand the mind is able to create reality for us. How do we use it? How do we wield that power? First of all, you have to use your imagination. Jung called it the act of imagination, the ability to tap into inner wisdom. That's the first principle, you have to be clear on what you want to create. It sounds easy. But most of us, when we're asked, what is it that you want to create, we think we have an idea. But when it comes down to it, we're not sure.
Debra Maldonado 20:53
We're not sure what we can ask for. We've been taught as kids, you're asking for too much, who do you think you are? We were denied a lot. We begin to think that's all we can get, we're afraid to ask for big things.
Robert Maldonado 21:09
The first principle of using your mind to create your reality, you have to practice clarity. It can take many forms. What I do is I have these sketchbooks that I sketch ideas out. The ones that really jumped out at me, I say “This is an interesting idea”, I start to flesh it out, to cultivate it, to give it form, structure, what is it that I'm thinking about in this idea? The clearer you can be of what the vision is about, the better.
Debra Maldonado 21:53
You don't just do it once and say “I got my vision, let's see what happens.” You have to do it every day. It's not about reminding yourself of it because if you really care about something, you don't have to keep reminding yourself. It's more about getting in the habit of engaging the feeling of what you want to create and feeling it happen, almost like rehearsing in your mind of you're receiving it.
Robert Maldonado 22:22
That's the second principle, consistency, because people often forget what they intended. They'll intended on a weekend or a workshop or with a coach or a psychologist, then they forget about it. They say “I already intended, it should come about anytime soon.” That's not how it works. Because the reality will become who you are, not just the thought, but who are you being, what are you expressing as your true self, that becomes your reality. The consistency has to be there, you're clear on your vision, and then you consistently imagine it, visualize it.
Debra Maldonado 23:13
Don't you think being consistent action toward it as well, because you're really demonstrating that you're willing to do something to match, you're putting the pedal to the metal, you're laying it out for yourself, you have to take some risk and consistently keep moving toward your vision. You can't just visualize it and wait for the cheque to arrive in the mail or magically manifest.
Robert Maldonado 23:38
That's the third principle, intensity, which really translates as passion. You're willing to do what it takes to receive that vision.
Debra Maldonado 23:52
Is it aligning with your purpose? Intensity not in fear, but intensity in “This is something I need to do.”
Robert Maldonado 24:00
It's a passion for that project. It's a work of love, this is something worthwhile, you're willing to invest your time, effort, energy, life for it. If you're clear on your vision, you practice consistently visualizing it, moving towards it, imagining it, then you have that intensity for that one point, that mind that everything is moving in that direction, everything you're doing is moving you in that direction.
Debra Maldonado 24:40
Again, not being unstoppable, intensity keeps that motivation. When we say “How do I motivate myself after a setback?” The setback is small compared to the intensity of your desire. We don't want to make it like we're going to be better when we get our dream, or like we're running away from something, we're avoiding something by getting it. The intensity is more of a soulful intensity of passion. That's a little different than that. But the consistency is really important. A lot of people start off well, they have great intentions, they're clear. Then they get a couple failures, they start backpedaling and say “Maybe this isn't right, let’s try something else.” They're inconsistent, they're having this lack of passion. It starts to get worn down when we fail. They allow external failure to beat them up and drag them down. Then you lose clarity, you get too confused, you're not being consistent anymore, and you lose the intensity.
Robert Maldonado 25:52
You see the importance of being around people that have the same mindset. The more you can be around people that have abundance, creativity, possibility, open mindset, the better. You also want to read higher knowledge continuously.
Debra Maldonado 26:16
Study not just how to make Facebook ads or how to get the most followers on Instagram. You want to study the mind, study yourself, and have a coach. I think both of us wouldn't have been where we are without coaches in our life. You can't do this alone. Doing it alone is in a way sabotaging yourself.
Robert Maldonado 26:42
If you understand the importance of it, you see how investing in a coach, a teacher, a mentor is such a simple thing, you're doing the least you can do. It's going to give you great returns because it's going to keep you on that consistent path.
Debra Maldonado 27:11
Not just one or two session, have a commitment to working with a coach consistently. That coach gives you clarity, helps you maintain that intensity. Being in a group to have people that are on the same path. I don't recommend having peers, there's a lot of people that get support from their peers. It's great to have a community, but they're not at the level you want to be at. If you're getting information from your peers, there's only so much they can give you. You need someone who's just a little farther ahead or has more of what you want, or has mastered this consistency, this clarity. Because if it's two people who are in doubt, you're actually going to support each other in quitting versus supporting each other in keeping going, if you're not of that same mindset.
Robert Maldonado 28:07
If you look at anybody that's created something new in the world, invented anything new, anything useful, has contributed to society, to humankind, they’ve had mentors, coaches, they've had people who supported them, people who helped them because that's what it takes. If you know what you're meant to be doing, it's worth doing everything in your power to make it happen.
Debra Maldonado 28:41
When I spoke at the Inc women's entrepreneurial forum back before COVID, 2017-2018, all these women were on the stage, all talking about what's been the biggest impact on success. I wasn't one of them. But these women were billionaires like Sara Blakely, who invented Spanx, and all these other really powerful, successful women. They were asked what was the number one thing that helped them achieve their success, and they said “I wouldn't be sitting here right now if I didn't have a coach.” Sarah says she had two coaches. These people don't just create success out of a vacuum. They invest in themselves, it's so important. The thing is, if it's not that important to you, you're not going to want to invest, or if you don't believe in yourself. Having someone who's going to help you stay committed, if you're willing to blade on the line. It's that little skin in the game you get by investing in your business or investing in your dream. How much time are you putting into it? Are you consistently visualizing it, seeing it, feeling it and having that intensity? It's like that oil pouring with a stream, it has to be steady. It can't stop and start. Where you're going to get that in the external world and get a feel “I'm doing well”, but it's not consistent because your mind is not consistent.
Robert Maldonado 30:11
This is supported by current neuroscience. The more we learn about the mind and the brain, the more the wisdom traditions make sense. It all aligns. The mind is the most powerful thing given to us as human beings. But we have to learn how to use it.
Debra Maldonado 30:37
It's the most important tool, any person who wants to reach their dream, the most important tool in your toolbox, an asset you have is your mind. You can have the most beautiful paints and canvases and the high end brushes. But if your mind isn't yours, you can't create a masterpiece. This was a great wrap up for our series. We'll be back, we're taking a break next week, we are on a trip, we're going to be going overseas for the first time in two years, finally, long overdue. We'll be doing some posting on our social media, saying hello from some really cool areas in Italy. We'll be back fresh in June for a new series. What your ego thinks is impossible, that means in your shadow, the possibility is there. Dream big, find that purpose, find what lights you up, it'll always feel fulfilling in life, you'll never feel like a failure.
Robert Maldonado 31:47
Thanks for watching. See you next time.
Debra Maldonado 31:49
Take care. Bye bye.
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