Master CONFIDENCE & GOAL SETTING from a World Record Holder | The IPS Project | Skillshare

Master CONFIDENCE & GOAL SETTING from a World Record Holder

The IPS Project, Educational Platform on Life

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27 Lessons (1h 48m)
    • 1. Master CONFIDENCE & GOAL SETTING from a World Record Holder

      3:41
    • 2. Welcome to the Course! - Watch First

      2:49
    • 3. Why Am I Guiding You?

      2:09
    • 4. What is Courage About?

      2:55
    • 5. Practicing Courage and Facing Your Fears

      1:21
    • 6. Exercise 1: The People you Admire

      1:07
    • 7. Exercise 2: The Three Questions

      1:16
    • 8. How to Effectively Set Goals - Consciously and Subconsciously

      5:10
    • 9. How to Set SMART Goals

      1:40
    • 10. Intro to Guided Meditation: "My Inner Self"

      16:00
    • 11. Exercise 1: “My Speech to Myself”

      1:44
    • 12. Exercise 2: Support Questions

      1:44
    • 13. How to Make a Plan to Reach your Goal

      3:17
    • 14. Intro to Guided Meditation: "Target Image"

      18:01
    • 15. Dare to Take the Step - Financially…

      1:52
    • 16. NWOR Exercise (Situation-Wished-Obstacle-Resources)

      4:10
    • 17. About Fear

      4:22
    • 18. Fears/Risk Analysis

      3:29
    • 19. Decision

      1:27
    • 20. Exercise 1: Inner Peace - Meditation Exercise

      3:10
    • 21. Let’s Get Started!

      5:04
    • 22. What to Do If Everything Goes Downhill?

      7:43
    • 23. Exercise 1: Identification with the Self (Beyond All Parts)

      5:57
    • 24. Exercise 2: Role Model Exercise

      2:10
    • 25. Done! Now I am Where I Want to Be!

      2:00
    • 26. Recovery & Reflection

      1:19
    • 27. Closure & Thank You

      2:16
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About This Class

Hello and welcome to this course! My name is Kristina Paltén and I am an ultramarathon runner, lecturer, writer, and coach.

Thank you for being here and reading the course description. This may very well be your first step in building your confidence to the next level and achieving a specific goal you have in mind or any distant goals in the future.

How do I know that I can truly be of help to you in achieving greater confidence and your goals?

I know because, over the years, I have broken two world records: The first was in 2013, when I broke the record for running the fastest on a treadmill in 12 hours (the existing record was 93.43 kilometers; I ran 107.49 kilometers). The second world record was in 2014, when I ran the fastest in 48 hours on a treadmill (the existing record was 309.8 km for women and 318.54 km for men; I ran 322.93 km).

How else do I know I am qualified to talk about self-confidence and goal setting?

Because I also became the first woman to run alone through Iran, for a total of 1,840 kilometers, while at the same time challenging my own prejudices about a country and culture I knew very little about. It was a run aimed not only to challenge my own beliefs but also to open other people’s eyes to the fact that good people exist everywhere, and that the media does not always show a complete picture of reality.

My run was featured in a documentary “Alone Through Iran – 1144 Miles of Trust” that won multiple awards, touching thousands of lives around the world by showing the goodness of humanity.

How else do I know that I can truly provide something here in this course for you?

The list goes on.

I also ran 3,262 kilometers from Turkey to Finland and then kayaked 493 kilometers home to Stockholm together with my friend Carina Borén. I climbed Mt. Aconcagua, which, at 6,962 meters, is the highest mountain in the Americas. I sailed from Fiji to New Zealand, and broke the Swedish record for a six-day run covering 721.79 kilometers.

This is all merely to show you that, over the years, I have had to learn how to build self-confidence and how to set effective goals to make what had seemed impossible back then, possible.

In this 2-hour course, I’d like to share with you EVERYTHING—all the lessons, tools, techniques, exercises, etc.—that I have learned over the years.

What you will learn are the complete steps, the full circle, from start to finish: what courage is about, how to face your fears, how to effectively set goals—consciously and subconsciously, how to make a constructive plan to reach your goal, how to get started with your plan and make adjustments along the way to move forward, what to do when everything goes downhill, the importance of celebrating milestones, and when you reach your goal, how the reflection and recovery process looks like, and so much more!

Packed with many practical exercises, this course can truly leave an impact for a better change in your self-confidence and your goal-setting skills.

Together with stunning animations, illustrations, and clips from my adventures, this course is not only packed with knowledge but also enjoyable and fun to watch :).

Do not let your dreams, goals, and visions slip away from you. If you’d like a push of support, enroll in this course and allow me to be that support in your life.

With that, I hope to see you soon in the first lesson and the start of your new life.

With love,

Kristina

Transcripts

1. Master CONFIDENCE & GOAL SETTING from a World Record Holder: [MUSIC}My name is Christina [inaudible] and I am an ultra runner. I hold two world records in 12 hour and 48 hour running on a treadmill. In 2015, I became the first woman to ever run 1144 miles alone through Iran. Over the years, I have become an author and a public speaker, having had the honor to be invited to the Ted x stage twice. I coach people on how to achieve the impossible and crafted for myself a life that has allowed me to become self-employed full-time. Finally, I am your instructor here in this course on how to train your courage and step closer on the path to reach your goals and dreams and making the impossible possible. When I look at all the things that I have done so far in my life, I realize that at the moment I was doing them they were anything but easy for me to do. As a child, I used to be incredibly shy, even though I can now stand and talk in front of a crowd. At the age of 31, and begun running for the first time and suffered tremendously on my first 10K run. Today, I run ultramarathons with ease. For the longest time, I worked as an engineer and had a secure and well-paying job. Leaving it to become self-employed took an enormous amount to courage as it brought the exact opposite at the beginning, which is less security and less money. These are, but a few things in my life I was able to do by stepping outside my comfort zone and pushing through with courage. This shows that courage is not something I was born with, but it is something I practiced and got better at along the way. It's something that you can practice and learn to get better at. Courage is a skill. From the years of experience I had practicing courage, I want to help you level up this skill through this course. Together, we will go on a journey and look at what you long for your dreams, your desires. We will strengthen your belief in yourself, both on a conscious and subconscious level. We will formulate smart goals based on your dreams and figure out how to best approach them and set an effective plan to fulfill them. We will improve your mental attitude. Learn how to get started and how to manage your fears, what to do if everything goes wrong, and how to pick yourself up again and keep going. Throughout the course, you get to enjoy stunning animations, illustrations, and many helpful exercises. This course includes a well-crafted exercise book and compared to many other courses where you merely sit and watch. This course includes practical exercises that will help you act. We all have dreams and goals in life, but often our fears stand between us and the fulfillment of these goals. This course is for you, if you feel you want to live more and learn how to become more self-confident and do even more courageous things in the future. This course is for you, if you want to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. My firm belief is that the best you can give to yourself and to the world is more of you. Therefore, with this course, I want to help you become even more courageous, more than you already are, so that you can start to make the impossible possible in your life. I am already excited that you have taken the time to watch this intro video. I hope that I can welcome you to our very first lesson and on the first step towards becoming a more courageous person than you already are.[ MUSIC] 2. Welcome to the Course! - Watch First: Hello and welcome to this course. I want to say that I'm thrilled that you have chosen to take this course because it means that you have chosen to invest in yourself and the most important person in your life is you. By being brave and living your life the way you want, you will find immense satisfaction in it and that is exactly what life is all about. In this course, we will look at your dreams and goals and ways to get you there. We will also look at what fears and obstacles that you have that are limiting you and holding you back from reaching those dreams and goals. We will learn how to manage these fears and obstacles so that they become assets a long the way. My advice is to start by choosing a dream or goal to fulfill, one that feels pretty easy to reach and use it to practice, because courage is something we practice and the more we practice, the better we get at it. When you have fulfilled your first dream, it will be easier to move on and fulfill the next, perhaps even more significantly. If you want to fulfill a big dream right away, this is the course for you. The methods and tools we go through and use can be applied to whatever challenge you want to face, big or small. Now, why should we fulfill dreams? It is partly because when you fulfill a dream, you feel good and you are living your life. Living your life the way you want is the greatest love you can give yourself and when you provide yourself with love, it will spill over to other people and to our planet. Being healthy selfish, that is, living for what you deeply believe in and want is also a way to make our world a better place. So being brave enough to live your life well, it's good for both you and the planet. Before we jump into the lessons, there are a few small things I'd like to share to ensure that you'll get the best experience out of this course. First, be sure you download the exercise book attached to this course. That's where you will find all the exercises we'll be doing. I have also provided additional helpful resources there, such as book recommendations, podcasts, videos, et cetera, that supplement this course. Once again, before you start, make sure you download the exercise book first and if you can, print it out so that it will be easier to write down any notes. Second, if you notice any mistakes at any point in the course, or if you have any suggestions on how I can make this course better for you, please let me know so I can fix them or improve this course for you. Last but not least, I want you to know that I am here for you as an instructor. Creating this course is one way for me to help you so if you have any other questions, don't hesitate to make use of the Q&A forum in this course and ask away. With all that being said, let's get started and welcome to this course and your new life. 3. Why Am I Guiding You?: Why am I a guiding you? As a child, I was a shy and well-behaved girl, terribly afraid of failure. My whole life was locked into meeting the expectations of others and my own high expectations. At the same time, I was taught not to take a seat and tell about what I had achieved. It was a very offending existence. When I was free to run, running came into my life and through it, I began to challenge myself. First, I ran ten kilometers, then half a marathon, then a marathon. 13 years after my first 10K, I got up and set a world record on treadmill in front of 10,000 people. I experienced the warmth and love of everyone who followed me, and I noticed how they, too, dared to challenge themselves in their lives as a result of my taking on my personal challenge. I started lecturing, wanting to inspire people. After me and my friend, Carina, ran the way from Turkey to Finland, and then paddled home to Stockholm from Finland, I did set the second world record on a treadmill, and then, I realized that I wanted to influence the world. I resigned from my job where I had worked for 18 years and I ran all alone through Iran. I did it because I wanted to challenge my fears and prejudice and thus contribute to a world of trust. My running reached over 45 million people and created hope and belief in the goodness of man. Today, my life has great meaning and I'm so happy and grateful that I get to live this life that I enjoy every day. I was able to get to where I am today by leveling up the skill of confidence and not letting my fear stand in the way of my goals, dreams, and the life I wanted. While life naturally has its ups and downs for me, the foundation is always good. I feel a huge satisfaction with the life I'm living, thanks to my increased self-confidence. This is to joy and satisfaction. I want to pass on to you in this course by really leveling up your skill in gaining confidence just like I did. 4. What is Courage About?: When I came home from my run through Iran, a journalist asked me if one can practice courage and the answer to that question is an obvious yes. So what is courage all about? Well, let's take a look at that here in the lessons in this section of the course. Being brave is about doing what you want to do, even though you're afraid. You can't be brave if you're not scared. According to American psychologist, Abraham Maslow, men basically have two driving forces. One is what he calls deficiency needs. That means a need to meet a deficiency. They are needs like food, warmth, security, belonging, being loved, being respected, and feeling that you are an accepted part of society. That what to do has a meaning. What characterizes a deficiency need is that it can be completed. You do not become more than full or more than warm or more than loved. Sure, you do get hungry again and need to feed yourself, but you never get more than satisfied. Maslow's second driving force is the need to grow as a human or as he called it, growth needs. That drive is about developing your full potential, being creative, contributing to yourself and others. That impetus can never be measured. The more you grow and discover about yourself as a person, the more you want to grow, and the great thing about this driving force is that it very often leads people to want to contribute and help others. That is why I say that it's good to be healthfully selfish. When you are brave and develop yourself, you will also want to contribute positively to other people and to our planet. Now, to grow as human beings, according to researcher Clas Malmstrom, we need to venture into the challenge zone, the unknown zone, where we do things we have not done before and take meaningful risks for a time being in this song will make us feel easily stressed, precisely because what we are doing is unusual. It may be hard at first, but that's what we need to create a good and meaningful life in the long run. It is important to remember that we also need to go back to the comfort zone once in awhile to rest for a moment in order to succeed. This is something we will return to later in the course. Of course, when we challenge ourselves, it is also important that we treat ourselves with love, that is self-compassion. Again, we will come back to this topic in a later lesson. If you want to read more about positive psychology and motivation in people, I recommend these books Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by world-renowned, Stanford University psychologist, Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., and also, Toward a Psychology of Being by Abraham H. Maslow. You can find both recommended books in the exercise book. Having already gained some insights about courage, let's advance to the next lesson, where things will start to become practical. 5. Practicing Courage and Facing Your Fears: Are you ready for your first exercises? I hope you're excited because this is where the course will get interactive and where the real change can start to happen. One note before we begin, if you want to accelerate your learning and gain the most out of this course, I highly suggest that you complete all the exercises this course provides. You are following this course for a reason, don't delay, start working on your confidence and goals immediately. This is of course, just my recommendation. In the end, it's all up to you. But I can promise you these are exercises that have aided me enormously throughout the many challenging journeys I've embarked on. My aim with this course is to help you as much as I can. Therefore, I have also included these exercises as they will do exactly what I intend to do with this course, which is to help you build your confidence and reach your goals. Approach both exercises and what you get out of them with curiosity, whether it feels like you did well or not, praise yourself for doing them and for taking steps toward where you want to go. Even a step that feels like going backward is forward in the end. Praise yourself for doing something when it feels like things aren't going too easily. With that, let's get right to it with the first two exercises. 6. Exercise 1: The People you Admire: Take a pen and open up the exercise book and flip it open to this exercise. If you can't print out the exercise book, you can also get a piece of paper and write your answer down. Make sure it's calm and quiet around you. Think of people you admire, write down the names of at least five people that you admire. It can be real people, living, dead, cartoon characters, characters in movies or TV shows. People you have a close relationship with or people you don't know at all. After writing down five names and you may write down more if you wanted to. Sit down and think about what qualities these people have. Think carefully, go through your list person by person. As you write down the characteristics of each person, look at what characteristic they have in common, list these common characteristics. Take your time with this exercise. Once you are done, have a look at this exercise in the exercise book to find an explanation for what this means. 7. Exercise 2: The Three Questions: Let's take a look at the next exercise. Once again, open up the exercise book, do this exercise. Choose at least free persons from three different areas in your life, family, work, friends, ask them to answer these questions about you. What are my strengths? What am I good at? What do you appreciate about me? Take a moment to think of three people, then go ahead and send them these three questions. If you can, do that right now, don't hesitate. Might take you some courage to ask this, but remember which course you are following here. One that aims to level up your skill in gaining confidence and courage to level something up and improve a skill. All that matter is doing, therefore, take a minute to think of three people in three different areas in your life, family, work, and friends. Ask them three questions. What are my strengths? What am I good at? What do you appreciate about me? Once you have received their answers, write down what they have said about you. Notice how it makes you feel when you are writing down their answers. Once you're done, have a look at this exercise, in the exercise book, to find an explanation of what it means. 8. How to Effectively Set Goals - Consciously and Subconsciously: You decided to take another step in this course, and that is for you to set your goals. Maybe you know exactly what you want to do. Maybe it is still unknown, maybe you want to be bold and not have anything concrete to achieve. My tip, however, would be to do something concrete and formulate your goal. It is only when we force ourselves to really act that the learning gets going. Another tip is to do it in small steps. It would be smart to first set a small goal which you can work to achieve and then move on to larger goals. What is a goal? I like to say that a goal consists of two parts. It's a target image and the goal itself. A good goal should go further than the actual target. Let me explain through an example. In autumn of 2014, I decided that I wanted to set a world record on treadmill. Within the ultra marathon that I was doing, there were two classes of competitions. One is like an ordinary competition where you run from start to finish and measure how long time it takes to run the distance. In the second class, the time race, you set a certain amount of time, and the competition was about running as far as you can within that time. There are certain time classes, for example, 6 hours, 12 hours, 24, 48, 72 hours, and there are even 6-day runs. To be counted as an ultra, the distance must be longer than that of a marathon which means longer than 42.2 kilometers. The world record I wanted to achieve was 48 hours of running on a treadmill. For that, I had to run for 48 hours and get as far as I can. The existing world records for ladies was 309.8 kilometers so I needed to go further than that. I knew that a Finnish man had the Nordic man's record and it was 318.54 kilometers. I used it as a motivator to get even further than the woman's world record. I also wanted to go further than the Finnish record holder. Therefore, I set my target at 322 kilometers. That's what I mean by setting the goal behind the real goal. I just had to run 311 kilometers to set a new world record but to make sure that I would reach it, I decided to set my sights on 322 kilometers. This goal is also an example of a SMART goal. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attractive, Realistic, and Time-definite. Specific means that it's accurate, well-defined, clear, and unambiguous. In short, it is not open to more than one interpretation. Measurable means that it should be possible to measure your progress. In my case, it consisted of the distance I would run which was measured on the display of the treadmill and by the judges who wrote up the distance I covered every hour and then summed up the results. Attractive. Yes, it was. I wanted to be a world record holder. Realistic is an interesting dimension. What is really realistic for us humans? Before this world record, my longest run was 201 kilometers in a 24-hour race. Now I wanted to run 60 percent further. For me, this was completely realistic because I saw off and see how people outdo themselves in terms of how far they can run and in other areas. Time-definite means that there is a set time in which to complete the goal. I would start my attempt on the 5th of November at 12:00 o'clock and run until 12 o'clock on the 7th of November. That is time-definite. Thus, I have created a well-formulated SMART goal. Now, well, you must have both the conscious and a subconscious mind. To succeed in a goal you need both the conscious and the subconscious mind with you. Because, unfortunately, if our subconscious mind doesn't believe that we can cope with the goal, even though the conscious mind believes that we can do it, then the subconscious will win. Therefore, it's hugely important that we have our subconscious mind with us in our endeavors. The way to get the subconscious aligned with our goal is by creating a target image and training our mind. A target image is simply how it feels and what it looks like when you're done. For me, the image was seeing myself feeling incredibly happy and stiff while sitting at O'Leary's and eating burgers with my friends and celebrating after I have set the world record. I could see in my mind's eye how I would beam with joy, how everyone around me would be excited and celebrating, and how my legs would be whimpering and everyone would laugh when I stood up to fetch desert. Now it is time to look at what you want to accomplish. To define your goal, if it's not already clear to you, we'll start by looking inward into yourself. We will also start by building a first target image. It will get more detailed along the way. Proper motivation comes from within, therefore, we will spend time listening to what your inner self has to say. Since different people come to their own in different ways, I have proposed different exercises. You don't have to do all of them. Choose the one that suits you best. Let's get started with the first exercise. 9. How to Set SMART Goals: We will concretize what you want to accomplish. For that, we should have a smart goal. Open up the exercise book to the lesson for this exercise. There you can find a box to write down your answers to this exercise. If you don't have the exercise book printed out, take a pen and paper so you can write down your answers. What do you want to accomplish in more accurate terms? How do you know when you have achieved it? That is, how do you measure what you have done? Visualize what you want to accomplish. Are there butterflies in your belly? That means, is the goal attractive to you? I usually say that a good goal creates nine parts discomfort and 10 parts longing. If it feels both uncomfortable and attractive, you are outside your comfort zone. That is right where you should be. Is it realistic? Here, I would like to remind you that we can often do so much more than we think. The goal should be set high, only then will you become more involved in reaching it. Finally, when are you going to do this? Set a specific time, write down your target formulation in the exercise book. If you want, you can also share it with me, here, and with your fellow students in the course or with someone you trust. The point of sharing what you want to accomplish with others is to set things in motion. This in turn can help you reach your goal. Take some time to do this exercise and to draft your first smart goal. Once you are done, we'll go further to the next exercise. 10. Intro to Guided Meditation: "My Inner Self": This next exercise will be a guided meditation. Therefore, if you aren't in a quiet room, go somewhere where you can sit comfortably and quietly. The purpose of this exercise is to start creating a target image within you. A target images is, as I said, a mental image. You experience how you feel when you have finished your goal, when you have fulfilled your dreams. You feel it in your body and you see it in your inner self. A target image can also include visualizing how you are getting to your goal. The more detail the target image you create, the better. Feel free to use all your senses. Visualize how it looks when you are done. Feel inside you how it feels. Hear voices, music, sounds that fit your target image. Experience the smells, tastes and other sensations. This is the first step to creating your target image. You may not have all the details ready yet for your complete target image. However, we will build on that team target image in the next exercise and in a later lesson. You do not need to get this correct right now, remember that the point of a target image is to get your subconscious onto what you want to do. It is therefore important that you relax your entire body in this exercise. Again, therefore, feel free to be in a place where you know, you will be at peace, and where you feel more comfortable and safe. Relax your body by taking a deep breathe. Feel any tension, releasing, when you do your exhale. Take a deep breath in, and exhale. Do this a few times, and feel all your body is becoming more and more relaxed for each time you exhale. You're aware that your thoughts may come and go. That's the normal way of mind but just let them pass like clouds and the sun, the sky, don't pay attention to them. Just feel how your body is getting softer and warmer and more relaxed. For each breath, each exhale. Now focus, on your forehead, relax any tension, the forehead, the eyebrows, the eyelids, the chin, the cheeks, the temples. Relax all muscles around your skull, behind the ears, you jaw, your tongue, your upper lip, your under lip, feel how your entire face and your entire head is relaxed. Let this relaxation move down to your neck, to your throat, to your shoulders. Let it spread to your shoulder blades, along your spine towards the ribs on the back side of your body, to the lumbar region, feel how the entire back is being relaxed. Breathe deeply, let the relaxation spread to your chest, the ribs on the front side of your body, your lungs, your wonderful stomach that contains all the inner organs that are so important. Notice, how the breathing is just working, without paying attention to it the body is taking care of him. Feel how the relaxation is spreading from the stomach, down to your pelvis, to your hips, and also how it spreads to your thighs, both the front side and a backside on your thighs, feel how your knees are relaxing, front side of the knees, the backside of the knees. This relaxation is spreading to your calves, to your ankles, further on to your heels, to your feet, down to your toes. Feel how each breath is making you more and more comfortable. And feel the relaxation spreading from your shoulders to your upper arms, of the front side and the back side of your upper arms. From there to your elbows into your underarms. From your underarms, the relaxation is spreading to your wrists, to the front side of your hands, to the back side your hands, to your thumbs and into each finger. Let yourself now just rest for a while in this deep, comfortable, relaxed state. Now let each breath bring you deeper into relaxation. As you lay here in this deep, relaxed state, let a stage appear to you. It's a stage that you can find inside your body. It's a stage for you to find yourself upon. You're celebrating that you did what you wanted to do. You have actually achieved your dream, your goal. Pay attention to how it feels in the fingers, in your arms, in your elbows, in your chest, in your back, in your stomach, in your pelvis, in your thighs, in your calves, in your head, in your heart. Fill your entire body with this feeling that you're there, you're done. You made it. Just let the feeling fill you and notice in each part of your body how it feels. Now take a look around you. Is there someone there? Who is there to celebrate with you? Maybe there's lots of people, maybe you're alone, maybe you see the faces of friends, of family, of unknown people who are there to celebrate. Maybe there's music, maybe there's voices, maybe it's quiet. Just look around. See what you see. Feel what you feel. Hear what you hear. Smell what you smell. Let all these impressions just melt down into your body and be aware that this image is real. This is the way it will be. This is the way it is. You are there. You made it and this is how it feels when you are done. Just soak yourself into these feelings, the tastes, the colors, the smells, whatever you hear. Fill your entire body with this memory because this memory is who you are. It's who you are born to be. Now it is time to slowly come back from this meditation. Bring with you all the feelings, all the colors, your senses, everything that you've been experiencing. Let it shine within your world when you're back here in this room. So let's slowly start moving your body. Open your eyes and come back to this place, and be aware that you have now created what will happen. 11. Exercise 1: “My Speech to Myself”: With this exercise, let's go on and build up your goal and your target picture more clearly from the previous exercise. Here, in this exercise you are to write a speech to yourself. The idea of this exercise is to strengthen yourself and to anchor your goal and your target image within your surroundings. Imagine this scenario, it is five years into the future. You have organized a party at a special place to celebrate something big. At the party is a person who is extremely important to you. This person rings the champagne glass and makes a speech in your honor, the speech is about what it is that makes you so amazing, who you are to others, what you have accomplished both for yourself and for others. What is more visible to you now than in the past? What happens more often now than five years ago? Your task is now to define who is making the speech? What is the reason you are gathered for a party? Where is this party being held? Who are at a party? Find this exercise in the exercise book and write down your answers to these questions in the speech that this extremely important person is giving. As you write the speech, you increase the likelihood that you will succeed in what you envisioned as it will help you to create a clear target image in yourself, thus helping to insert these goals into your subconscious mind. Again, take your time with this exercise, pause this lesson and write down the speech. Once you're done, click on Play to continue to the final exercise for this section of the course. 12. Exercise 2: Support Questions: The last exercise we will do here in this section of the course is called support questions. The purpose of this exercise is to help you think and fantasize freely so that you can truly fulfill your dream, not limiting yourself and your amazing abilities. If you still have a difficult time figuring out the goal and purpose in your life, the next few questions may help. Once again, if you flip open your exercise book to this exercise, you can find these questions with room to fill in your answers. Here are the questions. Money, if you woke up tomorrow with so much money that you could live off it for the rest of your life without doing anything, what would you do? How would you live your life? What would be important to you? How would you change your life for yourself? How would you change the life of the ones that you care about? Your future, when do you feel engrossed, engaged, positively tingled? What makes you feel that way? If you continue to feel that way, what would your life be like 10 years in the future? If you could invent the future, what would it look like? What do you see that it is important to you in the future? You, how would you want to be remembered? Try to write out the answer to each of these questions in as much detail as possible. Yes, this may take some time. However, these are questions that can greatly come to help you in either finding a goal and purpose for your life or to better refine any current goals and purposes you may have. Once you're done, advance to the next section of this course, where we are going to learn more about how to start executing your goals and purpose into a plan. 13. How to Make a Plan to Reach your Goal: Now it's time to make a plan for what you need to do to reach your goal. A plan to help you figure out things you need to learn, things you need to practice, contacts you need to make. What you need to do in concrete terms to get where you want, things you need to arrange and so on. Remember that it is crucial that you are extremely clear about everything. For example, if you want to quit your job to do something different, it is common to worry about finances. If that's the case, I suggest you sit down and count exactly how much money you need to get around. How much can you bring into your new life? What are your real costs? Can you reduce them or do you have to increase your income? Are you prepared to change your life in specific ways so you can achieve your goal? For example, when I made the world record, I didn't know I could run 322 kilometers. My friend Yang [inaudible] and I had the same result on a 100 kilometer run, and we ran just as far in 24 hours. He had run a race outside in 48 hours. In that race, he completed over 340 kilometers. We have the same capabilities thus, it should be reasonable that I can run 322 kilometers. What I didn't know was if there was a big difference between running outside and running on a treadmill. That I found out by running first six hours and then 12 hours on a treadmill before I made the world record. On those tries, I learned that I felt sore running on a treadmill, than running outside. To resolve this, I brought in a masseur during the world record attempt, who helped me to get rid of the soreness. Another part of the plan was that I would train twice as much as [inaudible] , to ensure that I would set the record. He ran between 50 and 100 kilometers a week. I set my training to between 100 and 200 kilometers a week to make sure I would be on the safe side to make the record. This plan can take some time if you want to make a significant change. It can also be short if it is a minor one. No matter what your goal, the most important thing is that it's yours, and that it feels fun. If it is a long-term plan, I advise you to set milestones. Those are points along the way where you reach something special. For example, one of the milestones in my life was running my first 10K, which is worthy of a celebration. The tougher your goal is, the more frequently you should set milestones, since they provide you with fresh energy to keep going. If you sometimes feel discouraged seeing everything that needs to be done, then it is extra important to work on your target image. Therefore, we will continue to work more on your target image here to convince your subconscious mind. For that, there will be another guided meditation that we will discover together in a lesson soon to come. There were probably also be fears when you make your plan, but for now try to set those fears aside. We will look at how to deal with those fears soon enough. Right now, let's just focus on what it is you need to do to get where you want. To do so, open up the exercise book and go to this lesson. There, you will find a template to write down everything you can think of that you need to succeed. To see how this is done, you can also see a template filled in with my goals for running 1,144 miles alone through Iran. 14. Intro to Guided Meditation: "Target Image": The purpose of this exercise is to continue to create the target image within you. The purpose of this target image is to convince your subconscious, that this is how it will be. The target image is a mental picture, your experience, how you feel, when you finish your goal. When you have fulfilled your dreams. You feel it in your body and you see it in your inner self. In this meditation, it is time to hone in on the target image itself, to visualize more details about how it would look and feel when you've achieved your goal. The idea is also to visualize within yourself how you would go about achieving this goal and fulfilling this image, or what you will become. At the beginning, when you start working on your plan and your fears, you will not know everything about how you will go about making things happen, and what it will look like when you are done. The more you work on your plan, the more you will know, the more you know, the more detail you will be in visualizing your target image and your path to the goal. Remember, when we do the guided meditation to use all your senses, feel how it would feel inside you, hear voices, music, other sounds that fit your target image. Experience the smells, tastes and other sensations. Just like in the guided meditation of your inner self, it is better if you do this in a place where you know you will be at peace and where you feel warm, comfortable, and safe. After you meditate, you may want to concretize your target image in a collage, for example, by drawing or creating a symbol that means something to you. For example, I use the password world record 48 hour on my computer when I was preparing to set a world record on a treadmill. Each time I logged in, I was reminded of what I wanted to do and smiled within myself. The more you concretize what you want, the better. Now, if you aren't already in a comfortable place, please do so as we will start with the guided meditation. Seat or lay down, in a comfortable position. Take a deep breath in and exhale, close your eyes, let yourself just to relax for this moment. That may come and go but you don't need to pay attention to them, just let them be. Pay attention to your breathing, take another deep breath in and exhale. Know this all your body is feeling more heavy. For each time as you breath in and breath out. Relax the muscles of your forehead. Just release any tension at your forehead around your eyes, your eyebrows, your temples, your eye lids. Release all tensions around your ears, your chicks, your jaw, your upper lip, your under lip, your tongue. Let all the muscles around your skull just relax and feel how this relaxation is spreading towards your neck and your throat. Feel for a moment how your entire head is relaxed, how your face is soft and smooth. Let the relaxation spread from your neck down to your shoulders and shoulder plates along your spine. Along the entire backside of your body towards the lumbar region. Let the relaxation also spread from your shoulders to your upper arms, the front side, back side, to the elbows. From the elbows, the relaxation spreads to your under-arms, to your wrists, to the upper side of your hands, to the inner side of your hands, to your thumbs. Now, let's do relaxation spread from your shoulders to the front side of your body, to your chest, to your ribs, to the rib cage, to your lungs, to your stomach and down to the pelvis. Just feel how you continue to breath, how it's automatically handled by your wonderful body. You don't need to make any effort to breathe, the body is taking care of it. In the relaxation, spreading towards your hips to the front side of your thighs and to the backside of your thighs. Your entire body is sinking deeper and deeper into relaxation. Feel how this relaxation is spreading to your knees, to the front side of the knees, to the backside of the knees, to your cuffs, to your ankles, to the upper side of your foot, to your heel and to the backside of your foot. Feel the relaxation spreading to your whole of your toes and just let your body sink deeper and deeper into relaxation for each breath. Now, bring back all those feelings. The smell, the colors, the sounds, the tastes, everything that you experienced when you saw yourself standing there on your inner stage. When you're done with what you want to achieve, feel the happiness, the joy, the fulfillment. Just fill your entire body. Feel it in your fingers, in your hands, in your arms, in your chest, in your stomach, in your back, in your legs, if your feet, in your head, feel the joy. Feel how empowered you are because you made it. With all these feelings in your body look at how you start to take your first step in your plan, how you make the first little move on your onward journey towards what you want to achieve, and see how you celebrate yourself when you've done the first step. See how you celebrate yourself when you correct your plan. Now, see how you step by step move forward in what you want to do. You feel how you are filled with energy, with joy and excitement each step that you take. See how you learn, see how you reflect, how you become wiser, how you know more and more about yourself, your capability, your ability, and how you will achieve what you want to achieve. Now, take a moment to go through all the steps that you want to do to reach where you want to go. All these steps are filled with feelings as you have when you stand there on your inner stage, when you're done. Remember, all steps are bringing you forward towards your goal. See how you are progressing closer and closer to your goal. You have your inner stage within reach. You are soon there. You are daring to take these steps to fulfill your life and your life's dream, and you know that you are on the right way. See yourself keep on moving then you are getting closer and closer to that stage where you are done, where you have fulfilled your dream. If there are people around you see how they are cheering, see how much energy that's pouring from you to them, and how you yourself are being fulfilled with energy from your own success. Now, you put your first foot on that inner stage. You put your hands on the stage, put your second for there, you climb the stage. Now you're standing up on the stage, moving towards the middle you have fulfilled your dreams. You can look back on the road that you have passed and see all the obstacles that you skillfully handled. You see all the learnings that you made along the way and you feel, pride, joy, energy, fulfillment, empowerment. Once again, experience all the feelings, the smell, the taste, the sounds, the colors, everything that you see around you when you're there and just let this feeling soak into you. You know for sure that this is the way it would be. It is time to come back to this room so you can start by moving your fingers, your toes, wake up slowly, anyway as you want to. You can open your eyes and make sure to bring all these feelings with you when you continue your day. 15. Dare to Take the Step - Financially…: Let's continue to build on how to make a plan and execute your goals. We all face different choices in life, and many of them affect our finances. Often we believe that these choices will affect our finances so much that we refrain from choosing what we really want. This is quite natural considering how our brain works. That is, we shed what is new and unpleasant. Our finances are a perfect excuse for the brain to make you give up or never to start at all. However, you have to first examine your reality to you see what is generally true for you so that you can make wise decisions based on facts and not just emotions.? If your goal will dramatically change your current life conditions, such as becoming self-employed for example, one of the first steps is to keep track of your finances today and review what you spend your money on. You may also want to see what your future retirement will look like. With this as a starting point, you can then analyze how much you need each month to have a standard of living you want to tomorrow and when you retire. If you open the exercise book to this lesson, you may find a list of helpful steps and a spreadsheet to figure out and simulate your financial projections. When you do this, it is also important to remember, that much depends on your unique life situation, such as your age, whether you live by yourself or with a partner, whether you have children, etc. Nonetheless, the steps on calculations can hopefully help you to see the picture more clearly so that you can make a wise decision. If you can, and if it's appropriate for your situation, take some time before you continue to the next lesson. Use this time to go through the steps and to fill in the spreadsheet before continuing onward. Once you're done going through the steps and filling in the spreadsheet, we will continue to the last lesson of this section. 16. NWOR Exercise (Situation-Wished-Obstacle-Resources): Let's finish this section of the course on how to make a plan with an incredible exercise. This exercise originally comes from the Armed Forces developing leadership and has been adjusted here so you can use it in your life. Let's take a closer look to understand the exercise better. The N stands for the situation you are in Now, W stands for Wished situation, your goal, target. O stands for the obstacle that is between the now and the wished situation. R stands for the resources you have or need. The exercise is mainly about embodying and reinforcing what you want and what you do not want, and how you can get to what you want. If you have a friend you trust, and who wants to help you let him or her guide you in this exercise. Now that we know what each letter stands for, let's do the exercise. Write N on a sheet of paper, lay it down on the floor and stand on it. Describe the current situation or behavior that you wish to change. Feel your body. Feel free to close your eyes and describe what it looks like when you are in that situation, how it feels to be in the present situation. If you hear something, your own inner voice, other people's voices, other things, then take another sheet of paper, right W on it, place it on the floor in front of you at a distance from the N, that feels right for you, then step on the paper. Describe how it is to be here, where you have achieved, what you wanted to achieve. Feel free to close your eyes. Feel how it feels to be here. What do you see and hear? What do you do differently in this position? How does it feel for the others who might be around you? Lastly, if you were to give this state a name or a metaphor, what would it be? Now, write O on another piece of paper. Place it on the floor where you think it should be, then stand on it. What do you see? What has prevented you from reaching the desired position? How does it feel? Are there any other obstacles? Go through each obstacle one-by-one, and notice how they affect your body and your emotions. Finally, take one last piece of paper and write R on it. Put it where you think it should be, stand on it and look inward. What would help you get to the desired location? What resources do you need to get past the obstacles? What internal resources and capabilities do you need to pick up or learn? What other resources would you need to develop to reach the desired location? Who can help you stay on the beaten path? Finally, what is the first step you will need to take? Once you have done so, place the papers with N, W, R in a straight line. For now, put away the O paper. We will come back to this soon. Go back to the paper with N situation and recall the experience of standing here. Then go to W, wished and experience with all your senses how it is to be there and look and see if you want to move the papers around in some way. Then move on to R, resources. Feel how you are replenished with energy, like you're a battery that is being charged. Finally, summarize what you have experienced and what it means to you. In the exercise book for this lesson, you can find space to write this. There you can also read the explanation about what to do with the obstacle paper. This exercise may sound simple, but it allows you to not only visualize taking the step towards executing your plan, but also allows your body to feel by actually moving what it's like to pursue it. Once you have done this exercise and feel that you are ready, we'll advance another step in the course and take a closer look at how to manage your fears. 17. About Fear: Welcome to the next section of the course where we are going to learn more about fear and discover how to manage your fears. Our objective is to increase your self confidence so that you may live your life more fully and pursue your goals with dedication. Here in this lesson, let us first take a general look at why we feel the fear. Our brains have not changed much in the last 100 thousand years. In prehistoric times, we were fully occupied with surviving and the most primary needs for humans were to not be eaten, that is to not be surprised by a dangerous animal or situation that could threaten our lives and to not be excluded and abandoned by our tribe. Our brains are programmed to look for dangers and threats rather than joy and enjoyment. It turns out that our two basic fears, being assaulted and being abandoned, are just as relevant when it comes to modern day social contexts. One model that describes the areas we are socially afraid of is the scarf model. Scarf stands for status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness, and fairness. Status; status is about the pecking order or how we perceive our status in a group, behaviors that threaten our status puts us in threat mode. For example, when colleagues leave the coffee machine, when you get there and leave you alone while they are talking to each other. Behaviors that confirm our status, such as praise, makes us feel secure. Certainty; certainty or security is about seeking patterns, we want certainty and clarity. Deviations pose threats such as when reorganization happens without you having any insight into what is happening. Autonomy; autonomy or independence is about controlling what happens. If you feel helpless, you will feel threatened. If you feel a sense of control, you will feel safe. Relatedness; relatedness or relationships is about feeling that you belong in a context and feel appreciated. For example, if your colleagues leave for lunch without asking you along, you will feel threatened. Fairness; fairness or justice is feeling that you are being treated fairly. If you feel that you are being treated fairly, you also feel secure. On the other hand, if you feel, for example, that a colleague got a much higher salary increase than you did, even though he or she did less, you will feel threatened. What is important to know is that our brains are five times more sensitive to threats than to safety. As soon as our brain feels threatened, it will behave in certain ways. You will become irrational, make unthinkable decisions, be poor at collaborating, not wanting to create change, and not wanting to solve problems. On the other hand, if you feel secure, you will be creative and pathetic, analytical, open to change, and innovative. Now, what you need to take away from this lesson are two things. First, when you pursue your goals, when you challenge yourself and move out of your comfort zone into the development zone, you will feel threatened because you are in an area you have not been before, your brain will naturally feel threatened here as it is less safe to be in this zone. Therefore, it's also the reason why many people do not dare to take this step as it indeed requires great courage. While stepping outside your comfort zone is tough, it will be rewarded, however, a thousand times over. Secondly, neuroscience has taught us that our brains are plastic, meaning we can actively create new nerve pathways in our brains. We can create connections in the brain that strengthen our abilities, such as the ability to become comfortable enough to step outside of your comfort zone in the same way that we can build muscle fibers when we exercise physically. Now these two points are incredibly important to note down and remember. Because even though we might feel threatened when we step outside of our comfort zone into the development zone, we can actively choose to train our brain to become better at this scale. One way of doing this is by using our fears in a constructive way. What do I mean by that? Let us explore that in the next lesson. 18. Fears/Risk Analysis: Before I ran for Iran, I listed all my fears. You can see them in the exercise book in this lesson, they were 22. I also did a number of things to eliminate them before I left, which made me feel a lot safer with what I was about to do. Also got the advice of a psychologist to help me follow up and rate my fears as I run, which resulted in some interesting insights. What became very clear to me was that my fears had very little to do with the reality that faced me. I think that was interesting. Often our fears are like ghosts. When we bring them out in the light, they burst and prove to be irrelevant. The downside of it all is that it's hard to predict what will really happen when you challenge yourself. But my firm conviction is that by managing and processing your fears, you gain a better ability to handle whatever will happen. For example, during the world record attempt, I was scared of abrasions, heat, getting tired, getting hurt, and so on. What really happened, which I did not expect was that I threw up twice. However, because I had prepared well beforehand, I had gained the power to handle that misharp. If you open up the exercise book to this lesson, you can find space to list down your fears. Start by listing down all your fears where you feel. Yes, I want to do this, but. Try to describe your but in as a detailed way as you can. When you have done that, list down everything that you are afraid of in relation to what you want to do. Be as detailed as possible. Fears can be completely irrelevant in regards to what you want to do. For example, when I was running through Iran, I was afraid that my parents would get sick or die while I was away. It really would have stopped me in doing what I wanted to do. After listing everything you can come up with, it might be good to ask the help of a friend, preferably a nervous one to help you fill out your list further. Maybe there are things you missed. The reason why we want to access all your fears is because those fears are holes in your plan. If you don't make this list, there could be a change in your plan and you would find a hole you have not previously discovered. Knowing them beforehand, however, can help you greatly to succeed in your goals. That's what I mean by dealing with fears in a constructive way. Now, once you have listed everything, it's time to rate which fears are the worst. Go through the list, fear by fear. Start with the worst and write down what you can do, preferably both practically and mentally to prevent that fear from taking over by eliminating the cause of your fears or finding out how to deal with the fears if and when they happen, you will increase your chances of succeeding in what you want to do. By doing this, you give fear a different perspective in your brain as you use your fear as information to help yourself achieve your goals rather than to allow yourself to feel threatened by it. This way, you start to create new pathways in your brain. While this exercise might sound rather simple, don't underestimate it. It's by doing this exercise that you can prevent your fears from stopping you and you will start to see fear as something helpful rather than merely an unpleasant feeling. Now, once you have done the exercise, we will continue onward to the next section of the course and see how we can step over the edge from planning, to making the decision to start doing. 19. Decision: We have a goal, target image, and a plan. You have also gone through your fears and what you can do about them. You have a solid foundation to stand on. Realize that this is where it truly begins. Maybe you have already started taking steps on the road to realizing your plan. Maybe you have also started to eliminate or deal with some fears. Above all, you have built up your belief in yourself with a strengthening exercises in the beginning and with the mental training. Maybe you have already decided to do what your dream of or perhaps you are still standing apart and weighing your decision. If that is the case, listen to the following. I once participated in a survey with a number of people. The survey asked the question, what is the difference that makes the difference? That is, what is the difference between the people who fulfilled their dream, their goal and those who do not. It turned out that the biggest, most crucial difference was in fact, only a person's decision to do so, to finally start taking action. If I make a conscious decision to really do what I dream of doing, I also have a much higher likelihood of succeeding in what I want to do. However, the question here is, are you ready to make that decision? If you have not made up your mind or one to strengthen your decision a little more, take some time to listen to the following exercise. 20. Exercise 1: Inner Peace - Meditation Exercise: Sit quietly on your chair or lie comfortably in a relaxed position. Breath deeply and calmly. Close your eyes, relax your body, sooth your emotions, and set any thoughts aside. Raise your consciousness to your higher self. To a place about half a meter above your head. This is a center of light, warmth, love, goodwill. See how golden yellow sun beams radiate from your higher self. Let the contact create an inner feeling of peace. Imagine peace. Let peace flow through your head, your emotions, and throughout your body. Imagine a calm and peaceful lake. Become aware of the calm surface of the water. Now imagine your body, head, and emotions as calm as this beautiful, peaceful lake. Let peace and quiet permeate your entire consciousness. Rest for a moment in this peace. Now, contact your will. Explore your will to make decisions that are right for you, which are in line with who you are inside. Become aware now that you are over any anxiety and worry. Ask yourself now, what does my worry say to me? Wait for the answer to come. This is not a mental process, so do not try to intellectualize an answer. If you are intellectually thinking up an answer, then go higher in your consciousness. Let the answer come from your right hand that is above your head. Then when you feel completely relaxed and peaceful, and have the answer to your question, become aware of your body and open your eyes. Bring your sense of peacefulness into everything you do here today and beyond today. Finally, take a deep breath in and exhale slowly as you open up your eyes. 21. Let’s Get Started!: Now that you have decided, it's time to get going, it's time to take action. This section is a recurring step of try, reflect, improve, change, and can be repeated any number of times you need depending on what your goal is. If it is a large and comprehensive goal, you will tend to repeat these steps more times. If it is a smaller goal, you will repeat it fewer times. What you will do here in this lesson, is do what you have set out to do. That is execute the steps you said you should do in the plan you made. You will take care to eliminate or handled your fears, and also reflect on how it goes and how you handle yourself while doing so. Exactly how you handled yourself is what I call mental attitude. There are destructive and constructive ways that you can handle yourself. A constructive mental attitude is one that brings you towards the goal, while a destructive mental attitude, is one that takes you away from the goal. An example is when I threw up after 27 hours of running on a treadmill. My first thought was that, ooh shoot, there goes all my energy. It would have been a perfect excuse, if I had wanted to get out of my goal of setting a world record. Therefore, it was destructive. As soon as I realized that I had that negative thought, I switched it to, I heard that vomiting is like pressing the restart button. This can help me. It's a much better mindset because it would lead me towards the goal, not away from it. In addition, I made sure to get lots of fluid and replenish my energy, so that I replaced what I had lost. With the right attitude and practical measures, I managed to achieve that goal, and I ran 322.933 kilometers, establishing a new world record. This mental attitude works for anything, no matter what you apply it to. It is precisely the same mental attitude I used to become a lecturer, self-employed coach, and an author. The plan itself and the practical exercises around what you want to achieve are of course different, depending on what you want to accomplish. If you want to become a good runner, you need to practice running. If you want to become a good writer, you need to practice writing. However, the technique of reframing your mental attitude, is practically the same for everything. This means that, from the moment you catch yourself having negative thoughts or a destructive mental attitude, make a switch and turn it into a positive thought. A constructive mental attitude. Ask yourself, how can this help me move forward instead of backwards? Now, to help you reflect both about yourself and the plan you made, you will need reflection exercises. If you open up the exercise book and go to this lesson, you can find the exercises for this lesson to help you reflect on the plan you made, and to reflect about yourself. This will help you in your journey of reaching your goals. How so? Because the path from right now to the goal you want to attain is rarely straight. Therefore, the plan you make is a best guess right now. It usually needs to be revised along the way, when you have learned more. It is good to be aware that it is perfectly normal if things don't turn out the way you intended. Learning, making mistakes, redoing, and getting it right, they are all natural steps along the way. At this point, it is important that you're kind to yourself. You always have to give yourself five times more praise than complaints about yourself. Ideally, don't complain at all. If things go wrong, it's just so that you can learn how to make them better, or find other ways to get where you want to go. It is important that you continuously praise yourself for what to do, and for being brave and taking these steps, so that you will have the energy to move forward. Feel free to get support from your fellow students here in this course or from your friends. Share the goal that you're trying to achieve, and encouraged others to do the same. This way, you will get praise in return. But also another reason why doing this reflection exercises are so good, is because it will make you more aware of this unit you are taking. Helping us to enjoy the process, your journey towards your destination will be more fun and memorable as you are actively taking time to reflect on what you have already done, what you have done well, and what can be improved. Now, before we continue to the next section of this course, do take a moment to go through the exercise of this lesson in the exercise book. Take your time with it. Once you are done, continue onward to the next section of the course, where we will learn about what to do when everything goes wrong. Also, if you want to read more on the topic of mental attitude, you can also find a couple of great books suggestions, videos, interviews, and other helpful resources in the exercise book for this lesson. With that, I'll see you in the next section. 22. What to Do If Everything Goes Downhill?: I highly recommend this section to everyone, even if everything has not gone down hill. These lessons will help you and prepare you for when such a moment happens. I remember wrapping my arms around this young woman, who was crying, she had run well in a six hour race, and was directly qualified for the royal championships in 100 kilometers run, a distance she had never run before. TV stations and newspapers were interested in her. The expectations were high, and she trained hard for the race. Two weeks before the start of the race, she got Iliotibial band syndrome, and even though she got a treatment, she wasn't cured. She ran anyway, she ran like a god for around 40 kilometers, until she couldn't run anymore. She changed clothes and supported her teammates with a big smile for the duration of the competition. When it was time for the awarding ceremony, two Swedes went up on stage to receive a medal, but she sat behind the stage and cried. There, I found her, and put my arms around her, when I bet high on a certain goal, it also hurts enormously if things don't turn out the way I want them to. But there are choices you can make, either ignore it all, blame yourself, or learn from what happened. If you want to learn, I have here a trick for you that I usually apply. It's all about taking a break to vomit, the vomit breaks them from the time I was setting in a world record and happened to vomit in the middle of it. For my part, it has now become synonymous with releasing my emotions. When things are difficult, when I try to turn my thoughts and I can no longer do it, when I do not feel empowered in myself, and by my challenge. I simply sit and cry, scream, and curse the fact that I had ever set this goal. I say all shit that I can come up with. When I have released everything, I go even further and look for even worse thoughts. During a difficult period on my Iran run, it was this thought, among other things, that really made me cry. How will my mother feel if I never come home again? She never gets to know what happened to me before she dies. I do everything I can to get all the hard feelings out. Then I take a break, I tuck myself up with sleep or rest, and often those two things alone make me feel so much better. Then once I have rested or slept, and emptied my emotions, I ask the miracle question, "Do you really want to do this? You are the one who decided to do it. You can also decide to end it all." So far, my answer has always been Yes, I want to continue. If your answer is the same, then comes the next question, "Okay, you want to keep going? How do you want it to be in the meantime? Do you want to run around and continue to be miserable and complain about yourself? Or do you try to have as much fun as possible?" For me, the answer is always, that I want to do it in as fun way as possible. I can assume this might very well be the answer for you too. When you arrive at that answer, it is merely a matter of getting up and choosing the right mindset, the right way of thinking, then turning those thoughts into helpful ones that will lead you back on track towards your goal. Now, for this reframing of your mind to work, your answer to numerical question needs to be 100 percent honest. If it's not honest, but an attempt to manipulate yourself, it will not work. Feel free to do your mental training repeatedly, don't forget, I'm here for you as your instructor, so are your fellow students. This is your community, you can find support here. Also, you can turn to your friends if it gets tough, reach out to them. Above all, remember to be kind to yourself. Think of yourself as your best friend or someone you really love. If your best friend or the one you love is feeling the way you do, how would you take care of that person? Do the same for yourself, that is the foundation of self-compassion, to be able to reach your goals. You also need to be able to care of yourself, especially when things are difficult. Just when everything has gone to downhill, or when you get the feeling that it's about to go downhill, our brain often respond with self-criticism. How could I be so stupid? I should have understood that this would not work. That critical inner voice is often very hard, cold, and condemnatory. Our brain cannot separate the inner voice from the outer fret, and the hard inner voice often makes us more scared, making us attack, what we feel is the threat, funny enough, the threat comes from your hard voice, it is the one that attacks and picks on us even more. This is a downward spiral, you need to break, and you can do this by trying a few things, such as, for example, change your inner voice, become aware of the fact that's, it's your voice, meaning you can also change it. Instead of being harsh, cold, an accusatory, speak with yourself in a warm, loving, and understanding voice. Talk to yourself like you are your best friend, ask yourself in such moments, if my best friend, we're in the situation I'm in now, what would I say to her or do for her? Give yourself a consoling touch, such as putting your hand on your heart or stomach. Label your emotions without judging them, it's okay that you feel how you feel, except that it is currently how it is. Remember that you have feelings and you have thoughts, but note that you are not your feelings and thoughts. Separating yourself from your feelings and thoughts creates space and gives you freedom to act instead of trying to remove what hurts, which can be both physical and emotional pain. Embrace it and send warmth and love to it. It is also common to exclude ourselves from others when things go wrong. It's just me who happens to be this way, It's just me who is so stupid. It puts us out of our humanity and only inflicts hurt on ourselves. To deal with this constructively, you need to include yourself, meaning tell yourself others have also failed in their dreams, it also hurts others when things do not go the way they want. It is perfectly normal for me to cry and suffer, this is a very important thing for me. The advantage of self-compassion is that it gives us a safe haven to get into if and when things go wrong. The safer and warmer that haven is, the more you gain the courage to do things, people who have practiced self-compassion are less afraid of failure. So self-compassion is the basis of being brave, if you want to learn more about self-compassion, and what you can do to take care of yourself, flip open the exercise book to this lesson. There, you can find a couple of great websites, books, videos, and interviews. Like many things in life, self-compassion is a skill you can practice and become better at. It's a vital skill in life that will allow you to become even braver and do more in this life of yours. With that, let us take a moment for a guided meditation that will help you in those moments when things are going downhill. 23. Exercise 1: Identification with the Self (Beyond All Parts): Before we start, make sure you are somewhere comfortable and quiet. If you are not, pause this video and find a quiet place first. Once you are there, close your eyes and become aware of your body. For a moment, be completely indifferent to all the physical sensations that your consciousness currently perceive. Do not try to change or evaluate them. For example, be aware of how it feels to sit on your chair, the feel your feet against the floor or your clothes on your skin. Be aware of your breathing. Let your breathing take you to a deeper place within you. Be aware that you have this body, but you are not this body. Say quietly to yourself, "I have this body but I am more than my body." Now, shift your attention from the body over to your emotions. Become aware of what you are feeling right now. What are the most important emotions that regularly come back into your life? Think of both the so-called positive and the so-called negative feelings. Love and anger, jealousy and tenderness, depression and joy. Don't value them. Just be aware of how many different emotions you can actually access. Be aware that you have all these feelings. But you are not your feelings. Say to yourself, "I have my feelings, but I am more than my feelings." Now think about your desires and wishes. Take the same impartial stance as before, and go through your most important desires and wishes. These work as catalysts in your life. Most of the time, you will probably identify yourself with one or another of those desires or wishes. But for now, just look at them all side-by-side. Feel that you have all your desires and all your wishes. But you are not your desires and wishes. Say it quietly to yourself, "I have my wishes, but I am more than my wishes." Now, observe the world of your thoughts. As soon as you think of something, focus on it until another thought takes its place. Then focus on that until another thought comes in. Then another and another and so on. If you are just sitting there and thinking that you are not thinking about anything special, then be aware that that is also a thought. Observe your thoughts as they go through memories, opinions, arguments, images. Be aware that you have the ability to think all kinds of fantastic thoughts. At the same time, be aware that you have all your thoughts. You are not those thoughts. Say to yourself, "I have my thoughts, but I am much more than my thoughts." Now imagine that you are going up a watch tower. From there, you can see your physical sensations, feelings, desires, and thoughts. Who has been able to step in and out of these different identities? It is yourself, the conductor of your inner orchestra. The self is your innermost being. You are the self. Say quietly to yourself, "I am the self, a center of pure consciousness, and will." Try to realize this about yourself for a minute. After you are done, take a piece of paper or open up the exercise book to this lesson and write down any thoughts or anything you experienced. 24. Exercise 2: Role Model Exercise: Let us go to a final exercise here in this section 4 and everything goes downhill. Open the exercise book to this exercise, and you will see a box with a space to fill in your answer to the following questions. Think about people you look up to and, or those who have really influenced your life in a positive direction, write down their names. Think about the occasions or meaningful events you have experienced with these people. Describe the behavior of these people. What did they do that affected or influenced you? How can you treat yourself in the same way your role model treated you? Example, I think of my grandmother, how she would always sit on the couch to wait for me whenever I would visit her at her home. If she was away at the time, she would hang the key somewhere so I could go inside to wait for her. I think of her when I would shake bottle after bottle of soft drink so that it would spray up towards the sky. I noticed that she didn't like it when I did that. She probably thought it was wasteful, but at the same time, she wanted to see me happy. I think of her when we would sit next to each other on the sofa and she would teach me to knit and crochet, and in the evenings, she would read an evening prayer to me. Then, she would say good night and I would lay down and read books all night if I wanted to. What my grandma did was to be there for me always, she always had time for me. With her, I was always good even when I did things she didn't like. She taught me new things, she showed me her philosophy of life without immersing me in it, she let me decide what I thought was good. This is an example of a person who I looked up to and who treated me with love. Everyone has such a person in their lives, whether fictional or real. When you go through a rough time, do this exercise as it will help you to change those negative feelings into positive ones. Now, with this exercise, let us continue to the next section here in this course. 25. Done! Now I am Where I Want to Be!: Once you've been through the ups and downs and you've tried, adjusted, failed, adjusted again, and you didn't give up, but persevered, you have finally fulfilled your plans. You are done. The most important next step, one, let me forget, but is of equal importance in this whole process of going for your goals is to celebrate. It's time for you to let the feeling wash over you completely. You did it. You dared, you went for it and you won. You probably learned a lot along the way. A whole lot of that learning is conscious and some parts might still be subconscious. Feel free to celebrate this accomplishment with others. Share this joy and success with friends and with your community here in this course, when you show your happiness, you will inspire others and give them the energy to keep going in the struggle to reach their own goals. Your task in this section and this lesson is simply to celebrate in the way you think best and to share your joy with others. Thank you for doing this for yourself, and thank those who helped you to get where you are today. Maybe buying something nice for yourself or make a memory book, anything that will remind you that you have actually done this. Do what you want, and celebrate. Don't brush this part aside. Take a few days to fully enjoy and celebrate what you have accomplished. Also, once you have reached your goal, send me a photo of you celebrating this victory and share it with your community, here in this course, in the exercise book, you can also find some other videos, interviews, and books about the importance of celebrating and ways to do it. With that, let us take a look at the last section here in this course and the last part in successfully closing a goal, the moment of recovery and reflection. 26. Recovery & Reflection: Now that you have celebrated and rested for a while after reaching your goal, it's time for the last big reflection. For me, it took over two years to reflect on everything that my Iranian run man to me. It can last for a while, even after you made the step. People are extremely stress-resistant. In fact, we can almost take on any amount of stress as long as we get time to recover. It is in the recovery that new learning occurs, so it is important that you give this part, the recovery, sometime to happen. Now, to help you reflect, go in the exercise book to this lesson. There you will find a form and some instructions for your reflection. Maybe not all reflections will come at once. Some may take a while, so please come back and reflect on your goals more than once. It could also be a great idea to do this together with a friend of yours. Often, your friends could help you see more. Also, if you'd like, feel free to share your answers and insights of your reflection here in this course. Your fellow students, as well, might help you or you could help them using what you have learned from this goal you've set off to do. Again, go to the exercise book because the rest of the exercise in this lesson will continue there. 27. Closure & Thank You: I started running when I was 31. Then I did my first 10 kilometer run. I could never have imagined that in the end, it would lead me to run alone through Iran. A run that impacted and touched millions of people around the world. Because I was able to show all the kindness and hospitality I'd experienced from those I met along that journey. Also, I never could have believed that it would help me become self-employed as a lecturer and author. It is a miracle of life, but at the same time, so natural. It proves exactly what Abraham Maslow says, ''That as we grow, as human beings, the desire to grow only gets bigger and bigger.'' To grow we need to step outside our comfort zone and challenge ourselves and that is precisely what you have done while following this course. I want to thank you for that. I believe that when you do something good for yourself, grow, in other words, you also do something good for the Earth, for humanity. The more you grow as a human, the more you will care about others and our planet. For each challenge I have accepted, I have learnt something more about life, allowing me to see life from a different perspective. Therefore, my ability, my potential, is also unmatched. I have no idea how far I can reach. The only thing I know, is that it is much, much more than I ever thought possible. Living life this way is a luxury. I never know how far life will take me. I see that and that's just how life should be, I think. My firm belief is that we all have such enormous capacities that we cannot know them. I hope this course has brought you new insights about yourself. I hope it has provided you with tools that you can use throughout your life. As I said in the beginning of this course, courage is something you can practice. You have hereby practiced your first round throughout this course. Now, it is time to take on the next challenge and where it leads you, neither you nor I know. But at least you have better tools this time to handle the next challenges that are awaiting you. I hope to see you somewhere along the way.