The Secrets of My Success

by Raymond David Salas

Originally, I wrote the following "secrets of my success" as guidelines for my dad to help him mentally and emotionally heal from his heart attack. My dad is not the type of guy to read a book about any of this type of stuff, or be motivated to do so at any time. Therefore, I tried to make it as clear, practical, and easy to follow as possible, or else, he would not be interested in reading or applying it.

After completing these guidelines for him, I realized that I had actually written down my own personal philosophy, core belief system, and the secrets of my success as follows:


1. Realize there is an opportunity in every experience.

There are no accidents in life. You are the creator of all of it. Health, joy, and freedom are actually natural and part of your true nature, regardless of what your life may look like at this moment. Whenever you are not experiencing health, joy, and freedom, or if your peace is disturbed in any other way, it is helpful to remind yourself “I do not know what this means. I don’t know how to respond to this, but I am willing to see the opportunity here. What is the opportunity here?” and then, see it and act on it, whatever it is. If you try this, and make this practice a habit, your life will literally transform itself into a wonderful series of opportunities for greater health, joy, and freedom.


2. Learn to be grateful.

Gratitude is a power. Upon awakening every morning, make the decision to look for things to appreciate that day. There is always something to appreciate and be grateful for. Give thanks for the day, your family, your life, and your blessings, whatever they may be. Start small and watch your gratitude list grow. Later, at bedtime, before drifting off to sleep, acknowledge at least five things from that day that you were grateful for. Do this every day. It’s easy and only takes a couple of minutes to complete. If you feel inspired further, you can even write these five things down each night in your own, private “gratitude journal.” When you complete these simple steps every day, it’s like sending out a daily message to the Universe that says, “More of this please.” What will eventually happen is that you will have more and more to be grateful for in all areas of your life.


3. Forgive the past.

The past is no longer here. Let it go now. Forgive yourself, everyone, and everything prior to this moment right now. No, this does not mean that you are suddenly a “doormat.” To forgive does not mean that you condone, agree with, or give your approval to anyone or anything. Rather, it is a powerful acknowledgment to yourself that “I am willing to let this go. I am willing to move forward in my life.” Remember, the only person hurt and impacted the most by your unforgiveness is you. Release yourself now and be free. Remember to tell yourself, “I am willing to forgive this now and be free.” I know that it may take some time, especially with some areas of your life, but the first step must be taken by you, with your willingness. The greatest power you have is the power to change your mind.


4. Release all resistance.

Stress is created whenever we resist what is happening in the present moment. In the Chinese book of wisdom, Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu, he reminds us that water is the most flexible element there is. Water adapts to everything. For example, if you dig a hole in the ocean, water just fills it up. Yet, there is no substance, no matter how hard or tough, that water cannot wear down. Flexibility is its power. Flexibility is power. Learn to cultivate it. No matter what happens in your life, you always have a choice in how you respond. The choice is always yours, in every circumstance. Therefore, choose wisely. If you ever feel tempted to attack or resist in any way (e.g., a driver “cuts you off” when you’re driving), remind yourself instead “I am willing to see this differently” and you will.


5. Stay present.

The past is gone. The future is not here. To focus your attention on one or the other is a waste of the present moment. If you consult psychics, forecasters, astrologers, and other experts regarding the future, or if you spend a lot of time planning for it, your focus and attention is primarily on the future, not the present. Albert Einstein reminded us that time is an illusion, an invention of the mind to help it grasp the concept of eternity. Furthermore, our minds only have the ability to truly focus on one thing at a time. Why waste the power of your focus on illusions, like the past and future, when you can only be present in the here and now? The bottom line is that if you are focusing on the past or future, you are missing the present. There is wisdom in the common saying “Stop and smell the roses.” Each moment is a new opportunity. What you choose to do with it is up to you.


6. Laugh. Laugh. Laugh.

Laughter is the best medicine. Norman Cousins, a journalist, professor, and world peace advocate, was once diagnosed with heart disease, then later a rare form of arthritis which gave him little chance of survival. He decided to focus his energies on laughter, specifically training himself to genuinely laugh more often. He constantly watched movies that made him laugh and soon made the discovery that belly laughter had a positive, anesthetic effect on his body. He went on to become a prominent best-selling author and inspiration for many. Laugh, laugh, laugh. Lighten up! Joy, laughter, and play are our natural states of being. Watch a child and you’ll remember.


7. Create your day.

Through the universal law of attraction, each one of us creates our day and experiences, whether we are aware of it or not. Whatever we focus on, we create. Why not consciously use this principle to create the day that you truly want instead of continuing to create your days unconsciously? Instead of mumbling “Oh God, I have to get up now” or something similar when you awaken, try a different approach. Set your intentions for the day. You might say something like “Today is a new day of greater joy and freedom!” Or a popular one is “Every day in every way I am getting better and better.” Or use one of your own that has a personal meaning and resonates more powerfully for you. After you set your intentions for the day, it can be helpful to repeat them throughout the day, with as much feeling as possible. Your spoken words, combined with your feelings and emotions, have tremendous power. Why not use it? A Course In Miracles reminds us that everything that seems to happen to us, we have asked for and received as we have asked. Let’s use this knowledge to make more personally satisfying choices starting right now.


8. Lighten up!

Enjoy life. If your life does not bring you enjoyment, change your course and go in a different direction, one that leads to greater joy. There is nothing more you need to read, study, or analyze to find joy. Create, love, and express from your heart, and you will find the joy you are looking for. Don’t wait for a “wake up call” from your life to get your attention. You do not need a serious illness, condition, or life-changing circumstance to put your life in proper perspective. Do it right now. Most of the things we concern ourselves with or worry about are not really important when viewed from a higher perspective. As the popular saying goes, “Don’t sweat the small stuff and it’s all small stuff.” Lighten up and set yourself free now!


9. Release your limitations.

You are an unlimited being. The only limitations you experience in life are the ones you place upon yourself. There is no circumstance or condition in the human experience, however unpleasant or challenging, that has not been overcome by someone. Therefore, as Gandhi concluded, “What is possible for one is possible for all.” Henry Ford once said “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” A Course In Miracles says that the most powerful statement you can make is “I am as God created me” because if you are as God created you, you are as unlimited and infinite as God is. Accept your unlimited nature now, remind yourself of it often, then watch the synchronicities, eternal energy, and power flow through you, within you, and around you, naturally, without effort, because you are expressing who you really are.


10. Become aware of your spiritual nature.

Deepak Chopra reminds us that we are not human beings who have occasional spiritual experiences. Actually, we are spiritual beings who have occasional human experiences. Open yourself up now to an awareness of a universal energy beyond your normal day-to-day activity. Whatever you decide to call or name this energy is not important. Words are only symbols and are not the actual reality of what they represent. Therefore, any symbol used to represent an unlimited, omnipotent, universal energy must be limited by its very nature. Do not get sidetracked by words or labels. Instead, begin to see yourself as an integral part and aspect of this greater energy, whatever you choose to call it. Marianne Williamson invites us to see ourselves as “a sunbeam is to the sun or a wave is to the ocean.” Open up now to the greater possibilities of who you really are.


11. Know your thoughts are powerful.

There is no such thing as an idle thought. All thoughts create and produce form on some level. Repeated thoughts become beliefs and manifest as the aspects and experiences of our lives. A scientist named Charles Hapsgood was once diagnosed with a terminal illness and given only months to live. He began to tell himself “I am perfect.” He repeated this phrase over and over again. As he continued this practice without stopping, after eight months, his illness was gone, much to the surprise of his doctors. As quantum physics has shown, there is no such thing as solid matter. Everything is energy. More importantly, everything is energy with a consciousness. In this quantum world of ours, everything, including so-called inanimate objects, such as your computer, automobile, and even the cement you walk on, are actually living things with a consciousness. Therefore, every single thought of yours is actually having an impact and effect on your body, life, and your world. The good news and the real opportunity is that if you change your thoughts, you will literally transform and change your life and entire world.


12. Do what you love.

From this moment forward, make a personal commitment to do only the things you love, whatever brings you the most joy. Do not do anything unless it makes your heart sing. Make a list now of all of the things you love now (e.g., “I love going to the beach,” “I love helping others,” “I love playing tennis,” etc.). There are no limits here, no right or wrong items. After your list is compiled, highlight or note all of the items you have not experienced in the past 1-2 months or longer. Now, simply start doing them (or more of them). Incorporate these things back into your life. Make all of the things you love your primary focus. Your life is an incredible opportunity to be enjoyed. Move now in the direction of greater joy. Only you, in all of the world or its history, love the exact combination of all of the things you enjoy. You are here to share this perspective of joy, this point of view, with the world. This is your purpose here: to add joy. This is the greatest gift, offering, and service you can make to the world.


13. Pray.

Prayer is a power. It is a transformative energy. A Course In Miracles calls prayer the medium of all miracles and the greatest gift given to us here in this world. Larry Dossey, M.D. found over 150 studies showing how prayer impacts not only our body, mind, emotions, and spirit, but even so-called “inanimate” objects. The key to accessing the true power of prayer is to pray as if you have already received what you are praying for. A sample prayer might look like this:

“There is only One Power, One Presence, and One Source, who is all things good and desirable including unlimited joy and freedom in all areas of my mind, body, life, and world. I activate and call upon this Presence to manage for me now all of the details of (describe your prayer request here). Thank You for taking care of all of this for me now. It is done. Make it so. Amen.”

Use this prayer or any other you find effective, as often as you like, and literally become a miracle worker in your own life and in the lives of others. This is my prayer for you.