How to Create and Live Out New Convictions

Traditionally, when we evaluate what direction to take our lives in we do a ‘values assessment’. This is a checklist of what you believe to be important to you. It might come out something like this (in a particular area):


  • Serving customers
  • Creating a great product that adds value
  • Paying for my South American holidays
  • Contributing to the world
  • Helping people grow and develop their thinking skills
  • Etc

Once you’ve ordered your list the standard advice is to seek a career that allows you to engage and live out your values. You can then feel that you are doing something that interests and compels you.

All well and good: – if you are satisfied in determining your future based purely on what interests you in your head right now. But this approach doesn’t always work because sometimes you don’t value all the things or skills you need to in order to pursue the career you want.

Suppose you really, really want to go into bio-engineering and chemistry but you hate doing detailed analyses – and you know that you’ll have to write a number of experimental reports.

Some people would decide that the field is not for them because they don’t have a disposition towards details or they just ‘don’t like detail work’.

The easy approach seems to be picking something else. It’s not the easy approach.

As Abraham Maslow said “If you settle for being anything less than what you can be, I promise you will be very, very unhappy.”

If you have a calling, if biochemistry and fiddling with strands of amoeba DNA lovingly beckons to you with sweet smiles and kisses – why go for something else?

I advise developing what I call ‘necessary convictions’. This is the act of consciously designing the beliefs and feelings you will need in order to get the job done.

Others may say “You can’t do that!” Watch me. Those who say it can’t be done are usually being overtaken by those who are doing it. Still others may say that’s deliberately engineering your thoughts and it’s manipulative. Yes, it is. To manipulate means ‘to handle’ and we handle our own thoughts every day. This is just stepping it up to the next level.

If you want to go to work, come home and watch television that’s fine. I have a friend who is like that, and he seem perfectly happy to work 9-5 and enjoy his little luxuries.

But for those of us who represent George Bernard Shaw’s unreasonable man (or woman) we know that “all progress depends on the unreasonable man”. And if the unreasonable man needs to manipulate his brain in order to get what he wants, so be it.

Personally, I’m not prepared to be decanted into someone else’s career shaped glass because I might not be ‘pre-disposed’ towards a certain skill. I’d rather make it important to me through the use of neuro-linguistic technology, and then act from a principle I had personally installed in my mind-body. Now that’s self control…literally.

So what do you do when you need to develop a focus and value on something that you don’t really care much for but is essential for your goal achievement?

You can, at times, get other people to do it. That’s why many business people hire accountants … but even so a basic grasp of accounting principles is surely essential to make sure you don’t get cheated? But if you prefer to retain control and develop the attitude and the skills for yourself, read on.

In the values example above you may have noticed that making a profit is missing from the list. In fact, the word ‘money’ is not even mentioned on there.

What if you want to run a business but making money is currently not that important to you?

Since most business people would agree that a business is there TO make a profit, they would say “change your attitude or change your goal” or advise you to go on missionary work to Afgericanistanope. (Which is a worthy thing to do, btw.)

What these well-meaning but short-sighted folk might have missed is that in order for you to meet your other life goal of setting up a social enterprise business in South America (something which I want to do) you will actually need a fair amount of money to do it.

So you could get a high paying job but – oh! – you don’t want to work for someone else. Either you’re stuck – or you learn how to develop a strong conviction that money is an essential tool for getting you what you want.

How do you do this?

You may wonder “How can I value something I don’t value?” How indeed? You need a higher level of thinking to solve this. As Einstein said “A problem cannot be solved on the level it was created.”

What follows is the basic process for developing a felt conviction using Michael Hall’s Mind to Muscle process.

To do a full treatment on this is beyond the scope of this article but I’ll reference other sources you’ll need to look at in order to make this work.

The great thing about this process is that, when mastered, it goes beyond just believing but actually helps you feel like this was something you believed with your whole mind and body. Think of something you know you know and can’t imagine yourself not believing.

Could you imagine yourself forgetting how to type? Or ride a bike. When you feel that about the principle you’re implementing, you’ll know you’re done.

The Process: Detailed Explanation

Identify the Principle

First, you need to identify a principle or statement that you would like to have running and directing your brain.

A principle is a law or statement that applies generally within a particular field. You might state the law of gravity as “What goes up must come down!”

You can find principles all over the Self-Help World. For example, in the books about becoming a millionaire like The Millionaire Mind or Inside-Out Wealth you can find wealth principles that the great and the good (or the not so great and not so…) have used to drive their wealth mindset.


One of the most famous is Robert Kiyosaki’s from Rich Dad, Poor Dad. He defines an asset as “something that puts money in your pocket.” He furthermore goes on to say: “The Rich buy Assets. The poor buy Liabilities. Buy assets.”

So the principle is “An asset is something which puts money in your pocket.”

Develop your understanding

What do you understand by this principle? What does it mean?

Using our example, I might say that “Stocks and shares are generally assets because they can produce dividends. A rented house could be an asset because the income pays the mortgage. Buying a business that just needs investment but will produce 30{54c12dad2cc2b53ae830e39915b1a3e70288dbcbbeb8bbf8395437c5dc3c512c} profits on last year could be an investment.”

What I am doing is developing my conceptual understanding as a framework for my conviction. Understanding what the concept is about helps me to understand WHY it might be important.

You can also ask yourself: How would living from this concept in real life benefit me?

For me, it causes me to think very carefully about what I am buying. I want to save to buy assets. I imagine how happy my children and grandchildren would be. I imagine feeling pride as I watch my investments grow and I know in my chest or my gut that I am doing the right thing.

Restate your understanding as a belief:

What do you believe about this principle? Do you want to really believe it? If you did believe it, how would you sound? You can find belief change patterns all over the internet but the important thing at this point is to create the belief that this principle is important.

The amazing point here is that once you create a belief that didn’t exist before your mind finds reasons to justify its importance.

This is why you should not be stopped just because something does not feel important to you. You can make it important to you.

Restate the belief as a decision

So now you believe this, you really, really believe this – what will you do?

When you believe something and you know it’s important to you you’ll probably want to do something about it. But it’s possible to believe and yet not act. So you need to make a specific decision

What have you decided to do because you believe what and you understand what?

What you are doing here is building a neurological highway between your mind and your muscles – getting thoughts into your very muscles so you can feel your convictions.

So, I have decided to ask myself whether something I am buying (big purchases) will put money in our pockets, and to commit (a decision) to buy assets where possible.

How does it feel?

How does it feel to understand, to believe, to have decided this? Be with those feelings for a minute.

Express what the principle would look like in action.

What is one thing that you could do today or even right now that would be a living expression of this principle?

For instance, buying some stocks that you provide dividends would be an active expression of buying assets.

Imagine doing the action and as you do remind yourself that:

  • I’m doing this because I understand….
  • I believe that….
  • I have decided to…
  • As I understand, believe, and act on my decision I feel…

Ask yourself as you do this: How would I stand? How would I look out of the eyes of someone who believed this and would act upon it? How would I breathe?

Keep repeating this above process until you feel the conviction moving down your body and settling into your muscles and body.

When it feels like something you’ve always believed, you’re done.

This process helped to make its creator a millionaire and you can listen to me interviewing Michael about it, along with a full description of what else you’ll need to do to make full use of the Mind to Muscle Pattern at

To your highest and best,


Doug Cartwright

Don’t Forget To Follow PickTheBrain On Twitter!

Related Articles:

How To Increase Self Discipline

How To Motivate Yourself


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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