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3 keys to creating Meetings that matter

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Meetings that matter

Meetings that matter

3 Keys to creating meetings that matter

By Douglas Vermeeren

Sometimes people ask me as a speaker, why did you pick to teach about the most boring subject on the planet — meetings. It might be true that for most people meetings are not the most exciting topic to talk about. In fact, it doesn’t take long to find a long long list of jabs or jokes on the internet about meetings and the pain in sitting through them.  For example one blogger wrote: “I propose a new rule: no meeting can last longer than my laptop battery or my bladder.” Another wrote “I learn alot about meetings. For Instance, did you know that by bending a paper clip once you can make a pretty cool S?’ or ‘My biggest issue with MEetings is that despite their name, they are rarely about ME.’ and ‘Any simple problem can be made worse if enough meetings are held to discuss it.’


One author worded it this way, “If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve it’s full potential, that word would be meetings.”


At first glance it would seem that meetings have a little value at all and really don’t contribute much to organizations. One might even question why some organization would go through all the expense and effort of holding meetings if all the participants achieve out of it is learning how to make an ‘S out of a bent paperclip or are trying to time the finish line to match the capacity of their bladder.


But meetings have a greater purpose and when they are used correctly they can catapult an organization to new heights in production. When used effectively meetings can multiply production, solve major problems,  implement time saving systems, protect against failure and arm your team to beat out your competitors on every level.


The difference between meetings that matter and meeting that are monotonous and boring is in your hands and today I want to share a few thoughts that will help you create better meetings. Meetings that motivate and inspire others to support you in achieving your goals and purposes.


I have identified 12 keys to creating effective, powerful and memorable meetings that change organizations. Today I want to share 3 of these keys with you to help you make better meeting right now.


Key 1) A reason WHY.  Meetings were not designed as an opportunity to skip work, or to fill time or to gossip and socialize. Meetings were also not designed to be a thing to dread or complain about. Although for some this is what they have become.


Instead meetings began with purpose and when used correctly meetings can be one of your most powerful tools.  Meetings in fact are the forum where company growth, higher profits for the company and bigger paychecks for the employees are all created. The WHY of meetings is perhaps the most important question you can ask and answer. When that question can be answered with an answer that really means something both to the organizer of the meeting and those attending the meeting the meeting becomes a setting for incredible change and progress.


So before you call that meeting ask these two questions: 1) Why do I need to call the meeting? 2)Why would those in attendance care? or what would it mean to them. If your reason for the meeting isn’t good enough then maybe you don’t need the meeting.


But wait, you may be thinking. My supervisor wants a meeting, or we need a sales meeting once a week so people can report. I can’t just not have a meeting. I have to go through the motions regardless of how I feel about it. If it was my choice I would cut these meetings out all together.


If that’s how you feel about it and if your meetings are indeed mandatory, and you can’t cut them out – then you need to change the content and presentation to focus on the WHY. If the meeting isn’t important to you it won’t be important to the attendees. If you want to see progress in your meetings you need to change the feeling of your people to those meetings and it begins with you.


Connect your meetings to the real reasons why and you will notice a shift. MAke your reasons why clear and specific, think of what it really will mean to the company, yourself and those in attendance.




1)Why do you need to call the meeting?

2)Why would those in attendance care?


Naturally when you are inviting people to attend the meetings you will want to make sure that those reasons WHY are expressed. Express them before the people arrive. Let them know in advance. If the reasons WHY is strong enough you will begin to find people actually looking forward to attendance.


One simple success strategy that has helped to bring meetings alive is to give them a name or a title based on the reason why. Kind of like a headline in a newspaper. “Discover how the company wants to increase your benefits.” or “Discover a new tool that we want to give you to grow your sales.” or “Learn why we changed product XYZ and how it will make your life easier.”  Often times when expectation and anticipation for a meeting is created the tone of the meeting is set before it even begins.


Again, try and discover the reasons why, both for you and the attendees. Even with a strong reason why your meeting can have some challenges.


Key 2 – Variety and involving others. Another meeting killer is monotony within the meeting or a lack of variety. The majority of meetings that I am invited to come in an fix go like this. People arrive and mill around the room. The leader arrives, people take their seats. He begins to talk. About ten to fifteen minutes into the leaders talk, the audience begins to fades and the leader carries on for another 50 minutes or so to a group that feigns interest. But the reality is inside they are yearning for the meeting to end, they are watching clocks, doodling on their notepad, day dreaming about the weekend past or the weekend coming.  As they sit in the room the only thing there mind is searching for in the leaders dialogue is the green light cue that the meetings over and they can get started with whatever activity they need to do next.


What killed the meeting? There are two things that kill most meetings. Both of these tools require preparation and consideration before the meeting. Preparation and consideration take time and effort. Maybe that’s why these tools are not employed as well in meetings as they ought to be. These two tools are variety in presentation and involving others.


Variety in presentation essential means finding a variety of methods to share your content with the participants of a meeting. In some ways this is similar to how a good teacher would teach in a classroom setting. On some occasions she might illustrate something on a chalk board, other times she may have a story to illustrate the point, or an activity, or visual aids, maybe even music or a video clip. Preparing variety to help you present in a meeting does take time but it pays big dividends.


Variety creates meetings tat are looked forward to and highly memorable.  Variety can also provide a mental hook or an activity that can be specifically remembered later on once the participant is back in the field.


Early in my sales career I worked for a door-to door pest control company in Southern California. Every day we would have a sales meeting in the morning to get people ready to go out and start selling. Often our manager would describe sales incentives or bonuses available to us with the help of a picture from a magazine. As he showed us the pictures he would sometimes play music with it. It created an exciting energy around the opportunity.  At first I thought it was kind of silly and embarrassing. I remember one morning in specific that the manager showed us a photo of the prize for the week and played the song Eye of the Tiger by survivor at the same time. He stressed that in order to win we couldn’t back down, we needed to push hard and work hard. He even had a few of the people in the group do some push ups and sit ups.  I thought this idea was the silliest yet and I probably rolled my eyes and started to giggle. But my lesson would soon come.


Later that day I heard something that caused me to rethink the idea. In fact, it was so impactful on me that after seeing this I decided I would use this technique myself when I had the opportunity to lead. Here’s what I saw, As we were out knocking on doors later I saw my partner rushing from door- to-door to get in all the customers he could. He was exhausted yet there he was singing out loud the Bonus song, The Eye of the tiger.  Having that anchor kept him going long after the meeting ended.


What variety can you bring into your meeting that will power up your teams long after the meeting has ended. Again this kind of variety requires time, preparation and consideration long before the meeting begins, but it pays big dividends.


The second part of this suggestion on how to avoid killing your meeting with boredom includes involving other people. As we talked about in the earlier example, many meeting die the slow death, with the leader giving a long lecture on do’s and don’t and sharing a long tedious list of company directives. That is a recipe for instant boring.


But meetings don’t have to be that way.


Just like with variety, this suggestion also requires preparation and consideration ahead of time. Both of those things require time. But it is well worth the investment.  This second tool is to actively involve as many people as possible in the meeting. In some ways this is another form of variety, but I think it’s so powerful it needs to be addressed as a subject in itself.


Involving others can take many forms. It’s most basic form is asking questions of the group and giving people a chance to respond. It can also involve asking for comments, feedback and suggestions. Those are great starting points. But I believe there is room to go even further.


Why can’t you work with someone in the group to present part of the information, or work with someone ahead of time to prepare a report, or get a group to do a role play on solving a discussion point.


One of the most successful meetings I had involved having a member of the group prepare a series of funny video clips to illustrate the incorrect way to complete a task.


By involving others they begin to take pride and ownership in the meeting. As they feel they are making a difference within the meeting they begin to really believe that their contributions can make a significant difference to the organization outside the meeting. Again, remember the goal isn’t to entertain – it is to get results in the real world. But real life has proven that if the meetings have some power to entertain that the results in real life will come.


Key 3) Time. This last suggestion can also require a lot of preparation ahead of time, but more important to preparation ahead of time, this one requires focus and self discipline to implement in the meeting.


When the meeting is running it is very difficult to lose track of time and time flies so quickly. But time is an important consideration. In a recent study on effective meetings and how to create them it was discovered that the number challenge that attendees had was that they felt like time in meetings was no properly used.  some of the complaints were that meetings started late, ended even later and that the time in the meeting wasn’t used effectively.


Many reported that because the experience of poor use of time was repeated again and again that poor use of time is what they had come to expect.  In other words, they too showed up late and some admitted that they threw away the remainder of a morning or afternoon because experience told them that they wouldn’t be getting out of the meeting on time anyways.  The tone for the entire company is set in the meetings and trainings it provides. If an attendee to such a meeting doesn’t see that use of time and material shared in the meeting are crisp, clear, productive and results driven the habits of crisp, clear, productive and results driven will not show up in their efforts outside of the meeting.


So how do we improve on the principle of using time. The simple answer is start on time, end on time and use the time in the middle effectively. Start with that and you’ve gone a long ways to creating happiness in your meeting.


Here are a few other suggestions to consider:


The first one. Meetings don’t have to be an hour. Whether it’s a group training meeting or a one-on-one sales visit. Meetings don’t have to be an hour. We have been trained from our school days that each class period is an hour and so we feel that our business meetings should be the same. Generally speaking if you allow something an hour to be completed it takes an hour, if you allow three hours it will take three hours. The most successful leaders know this and so they often cut short the time needed to smallest possible amount of time to do a thing right. Again this is why it is so important to prepare and plan ahead of time.  As I completed my studies on the most successful people in the world, I was surprised at how carefully they guard their time. And when it came to meetings there were rare occasions when a meeting would reach one hour. Their meetings ranged from 10 and 15 minutes, to longer meetings of 45 minutes. You don’t need a hour when 45 minutes will do.


And this is really where the idea of self-discipline comes in. Most hour meetings will come in at around 30 minutes to 45 minutes if those presenting and those participating stay focused.


I was recently invited to attend a company meeting that was looking for ways to improve their meetings.  I brought with me a checklist that I use to evaluate what companies are currently doing in their meetings and how they can make some immediate improvements. The biggest improvement tis company was looking for was to make their meetings more effective and do them in less time. It was reported that their regular “one hour” meeting was often taking an hour and a half, sometimes even two. meetings in this company were dreaded and progress seemed to be stalled. I was called in to evaluate and get them back on track to productivity.


The meeting started fine and I took out my checklist. On the checklist are a list of common mistakes made in nearly all meetings. Each time I identify one of the challenges I put a checkmark next to the column associated with that challenge. Some challenges obvious are scored differently because some of these challenges create more problems for the meeting.  One of the challenges that I score high is what I call ‘Chit-chat.’ ‘Chit-chat’ doesn’t just refer to personal socializing within the meeting, it also deals with any issue (company business or otherwise) that doesn’t relate directly to the purpose of the meeting at hand. This is a serious offense for the meetings that I critique.  The reason why is that not only does it steal time but it also dilutes the clarity and main objectives of the meeting. In other words, when you talk about so many trivial things the main thing often gets lost. And when people don’t know what the main thing is — they can’t act on it. It’s as simple as that.


A stronger offense on the checklist is what I call a ‘Topic Twist’.  This occurs when the main thing ceases to be the main thing.  Often it is the combination of a ‘Chit-chat offense.


So as I sat there with my checklist I began to listen. The meeting leader welcomed everyone and started on his introduction of the first topic. Inside of 30 seconds I had my first ‘chit-chat’ checkmark. Then another, and another, then a topic twist and so on and so forth. At the end of the meeting, which went over this time by 15 minutes I took some time with the participants. They were confused and irritated as they kept eying the clock.


As I later calculated there were over 25 Chit-Chat marks and 7 Topic twists. Each chit-chat mark was a minimum of thirty seconds and averaged about a minute. By eliminating these segue ways the meeting time would have been reduced by  close to thirty minutes. That would put us right around the sweet spot of 45 minutes.


45 minutes is a good number. The other reason I like it has a little to do with brain science. A recent study demonstrated that the average adult person has an attention span of approximately 7 – 8 minutes. You’ve probably heard that in conversations there is often silence about every seven minutes. Well neuroscientists studying attention span feel that has something to do with this 7 – 8 minute rule. If we average at 8 minutes that means that in 45 minutes if you are precise you can cover around 5 topics. leaving a little time for an introduction and conclusion to the meeting. That is a solid rule of thumb. 5 topics covered and covered well. Again selecting the keys and most valuable topics does require time in preparation. But it is well worth it. Try to limit the number of points and make them powerful. If you try to do more than a few you may find your people confused and confusion equal non-production.


To conclude with this idea about time I want to share a technique that I often use in one on one meetings, yet this could also be used in larger group settings. It begins with the timer on my smart phone.


When I arrive at a meeting I thank the person for coming and then I say something like this: “I recognize your time is valuable and so is mine. After going through my notes in preparation for today I was thinking that we should be able to cover everything inside of 45 minutes. does that sound reasonable to you?”


If the person agrees then all is perfect. If they figure that more time is needed then you may have to adjust accordingly to a time that you both can agree on. Most people agree that 45 minutes is ideal. I then pull out my smart phone and open the timer. I set it for 45 minutes. I then place it on the table and say: “Let’s use a timer to keep us on track.” And then I start into the meeting.


Again when the group is larger I do something similar. I let the ground know that I feel we should be in the meeting for 45 minutes. I also show them that I am setting the timer.


I have found by using the technique all my meetings, whether in group settings or with individuals seem to be more focused and productive. All involved realize that there is no time for chit-chat or topic twists. We stay on track and focused. And the funny things is not only do end on time but we generally finish a little bit early.


You might be wondering does this stall or limit participation? You’d be surprised that it doesn’t. In fact, it makes the participation better. Because if people have questions or concerns to share or discuss the issues that are raised are now focused razor sharp on the discussion points of the meeting. There is no side tangents or long stories. The comments are more precise and everyone is much more focused and involved.


Those are three of 12 powerful keys for constructing and conducting meetings that matter. Meetings can be wonderful. The effectiveness and productivity of a meeting will increase the effectiveness and productivity of a company. It is in meetings where problems are solved, productivity are increased, systems are introduced, training is increased and you are given the edge over your competition. In short, powerful meetings make for profitable companies.


If you would like to learn more about the 12 keys to constructing and conducting meetings that matter please contact us at 1-877-393-9496. These keys work wonders in every setting from one on one interviews and sales presentations all the way to negotiations in big board room presentations. The bottom line is that effective meetings equal increased results. And each of the 12 keys to constructing and conducting meetings that matter are calculated to help you get more from your team, help your team reach higher and say focused with the goals that really matter.


Powerful Thinking Powerful Results – On Inner Healing Compass Radio

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Powerful Thinking Powerful Results

Powerful Thinking Powerful Results


DATE: November 1st, 2011

TIME: 10:00am(PST) | 11:00am(MST) | 12:00pm(CST) | 1:00pm (EST)


3 Mistakes of the mind that sabotage the most motivated achievers

3 Misconceptions about harnessing the power of Gratitude


Click to join us:



Did you know  that the incorrect use of gratitude is what

has created our currently global financial recession,

incorrect expressions of gratitude is what contributes

most to the breakdown of families and society and incorrect

use of gratitude is what is causing our crime rates to escalate?


Why is the role of brain science so important for us to understand

if we want to be successful in our lives? You can change what you are

and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.

Have we got your attention yet?


While it seems certain that Douglas Vermeeren is destined to

leave his mark in the personal development world. It might be more

interesting to chart the difference he will make in the many lives

he is touching. He surely is a force for extreme good in this world.

Join us for this inspiring call!


Click to join us:


Douglas Vermeeren, Producer of The Opus, The Gratitude Experiment,

How Thoughts Become Things. Author of Guerrilla Achiever, Amazing Success, The Millionaire Myth.


Douglas Vermeeren, considered the modern day Napoleon Hill has conducted

research into the lives of more than 400 of the world’s top achievers. His books and programs have been translated into more

than 22 languages world wide. He was the first North American to address the Chinese government leaders on human

performance and motivation. He currently coaches many celebrities and business leaders and speaks world wide on the subjects

of the power of powerful thinking, achievement, productivity and wealth.


Powerful Thinking Powerful Results with Douglas Vermeeren

Powerful Thinking Powerful Results with Douglas Vermeeren

Be on the call  and webcast early to secure your spot…this interview will be in high demand…and oh Yes….

submit your questions now…and there is a good chance you can might get  them answered by Doug.

We will be waiting for you…so join us on this interview!


Talk to you soon…..

Karen & Salma

Unbounded Potential Empowerment Group Inc.

Powerful Thinking Powerful Results – MAYAN RETREAT

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Powerful Thinking Powerful Results

Powerful Thinking Powerful Results

Your thinking will dictate your results. It’s as simple as that. This is our most popular training and It produces instant results and immediate productivity. Spend a week learning about how your mind works and processes the information for need to be successful and realize your greatest outcomes! If you are in a funk and your not sure why or maybe things are going fine, but just not fast enough. You have got to learn how to kick it into high gear! Your most powerful results await you!

February 13 – 17 – Mayan Riviera – Public Event – Powerful Thinking Powerful Results retreat – Space is limited! This package does not include travel or accommodations. This event takes place on an all-inclusive resort. We encourage participants to stay at the resort for a best value experience. Please feel free to contact us directly for special travel arrangements we have for our attendees.

As a side note this educational getaway is typically tax deductible and eligible for continuing education credits!



Some of the topics we will cover include:

– How to training your brain to stay focused with what matters most!

– Getting greater clarity with your goals!

– How to overcome negative thinking!

– What every manager needs to know!

– The 3 mistakes of the mind that sabotage even the most motivated achievers!

-Persuasion and sales from a brain science point of view!

-Why and how decisions are made!

– The ripple effect (Why some people create an amazing success)

– The 5 ways your brain learns

-How to step ahead of your competition

– 4 keys to making relationships work

…and more!  This is an incredible training that benefits anyone who is self employed or trying to make a home business work. In addition, if you are fascinated by your mind and how the brain works you will not want to miss this event! Seating is limited to only 25 participants to ensure maximum opportunities to participate and apply the skills and techniques presented in the course.

Douglas Vermeeren at the ruins of Chichen Itza Mexico

Douglas Vermeeren at the ruins of Chichen Itza Mexico


This is an incredible training and holiday opportunity. In addition to the incredible lessons you will learn we always have a good time. lots to do! Lots to see!

For more information email or call 1-877-393-9496

Thoughts on past trainings:

Douglas can deliver the depth of content that European audiences demand. Douglas Embodies excellence. In Belgium, we experienced no waffle when he was here! If Douglas’ ideas were taught in schools, we’d be getting it right from the beginning. I recommend to all, if you get the opportunity to hear him, never let it pass you by. Douglas is matchless. – Jane McCarthy, Cyres Cafe, Antwerp, Belgium

Doug Vermeeren was our speaker of choice! After the main session the comment we kept hearing from members was “Wow!” Everyone in attendance felt like this was a major learning experience, and we had fun too! This will be an event JCI members and guest will talk about for years to come! I would recommend other organizations bring Doug in to speak to their group! We look forward to bringing Doug back again for another presentation!  – Kristin Krause Chapter President, Junior Chamber International

A captivating speaker with so many great insights. Doug is definitely destined to become one of this generations leaders in personal development.  – Bob Doyle Creator of the Wealth Beyond Reason Program and featured teacher in The Secret

Doug’s mind is the most brilliant out of the box tool you your business could have. The quick simple tweaks he sees that you don’t create massive massive results. Doug works from his heart and will not rest until he knows that you have gotten way way more then you could have ever imagined. It is your responsibility to let your mind grow and to make sure that your ideas take off. The best in the world work with coaches constantly. The VERY best work with Doug. If you ever have the opportunity to work with Doug, do your future a favor and jump on it NOW.

– Kyle Cease #1 Place Winner, Comedy Central Stand-up Showdown Actor (10 things I hate about you, Not another teen movie)

Doug Vermeeren has the ability to motivate and inspire people to achieve their biggest dreams.  – William Farley, CEO Fruit of the Loom

Doug Vermeeren is a man who possesses both vision and enthusiasm. He spreads his message of ‘no limits’ to everyone around him and touches lives forever. -Frank Maguire, Co-Founder of FedEx

The tips for success, and the hands on approach are unsurpassed. I am more sure of my success now than ever before.  – Kathleen Johnson, BA, AICI, POC, President & CEO R.I.M

Doug is truly a “go giver” and what you will learn from his principles and acting on them will not only change your life and make you a better and more successful person they will also help you to be a more happy individual as you go through life.  – Richard “Jaws” Kiel, Actor – The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker

Doug Vermeeren knows what he is talking about. He’s dynamic and wise and definitely worth listening to.

– Marci Shimoff, #1 New York Times Best Selling Author, Happy for No Reason




Powerful Thinking Powerful Results to be a TV Show

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Powerful Thinking Powerful Results

Powerful Thinking Powerful Results

Since the late 1990’s Douglas Vermeeren has been conducting the Powerful Thinking Powerful Results seminars through out North America. The program has focused on how thinking an modern neuroscience shape our day to day activities and help us achieve the results and outcomes we want.  This program has made a difference to many professions in the financial planning industry, real estate industries, among sales professionals and more!  This highly sought after program has been recognized for continuing education credits in may fields and has been the subject of many articles and books. But now things are about to get bigger!

Vermeeren’s representatives have just confirmed that an agreement has been reached for Powerful Thinking Powerful results to launch as a TV show on two national networks in the United States and Canada. “The commitment at this stage is for 20 Episodes.”  Stan Romero, press agent for Vermeeren confirmed. “The show will share many of the lessons that Doug has been teaching in the program, but there will also be a lot of new things that no one has seen before.”  The new things he is refer to  have a lot to do with the lessons on the brain and neuroscience involved. “In last decade so much of what we know an understand about the brain and how we process information has changed. This show will provide the most cutting edge research available and share the most current methods to implement it into your life that we can find.”

Douglas Vermeeren, who is also known as the creator of  film The Opus, expressed his excitement at the deal. “I think media is being very under used in the personal development world. These tools can be used to teach in such powerful ways. Not to mention the sizes of the audiences they can reach. It is astounding.” On the surface this may appear true, but why didn’t it work for Tony Robbins. He can fill seminars with thousands of people but his television show, ‘Breakthrough’ on NBC was cancelled after just two episodes. Is the world ready for personal development on TV?

Vermeeren and his team think so. “It’s unfortunate that Tony’s show did not make it. I keep hearing from many people that they liked it and what I saw I also liked. What will make us different? What will help us stick around? We are trying a different model and a different approach, but that may not guarantee us success either. But we’ll do our best and see what happens.”

Currently there are no confirmed dates for the airing of the first episode, but all sources confirm that production has begun. We will post on this story as it develops.

#1 Secret of How Thoughts become Things

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Mind secrets

Mind Secrets

#1 Secret of How Thoughts become things

By Douglas Vermeeren

We have all heard that Thoughts become things. This is true. They do become things.  The question that most people struggle with is how do they do this? It is estimated that each day we have more than 70,000 unique thoughts. So what is it that controls our thoughts? How does our mind select which thoughts to develop and which thoughts to ignore? How do the prominent thoughts become things?

In order for thoughts to develop into reality they must be permitted to develop in the mind.

As they develop they grow and are built upon. If the spark of thought continues to grow action can result. Action will then bring that thought into reality.

Many of the thoughts that develop in the mind do not become a reality. We have all had thoughts that began as a brilliant burst of inspiration. Perhaps these ideas even got you excited for a few minutes, maybe an hour, a day or even a week… Then they faded away.  Even though they started as powerful ideas they did not end up as a tangible reality in your life?

What happened? Where was the break down? How could an idea so bright and exciting turn dim or disappear altogether.

Even more frustrating are the ideas that do not disappear. They anchor themselves in the back or your mind, they cling to you waiting for the day that you may act upon them. These are probably the most painful ideas. You know in your heart that if you did something with these kinds of ideas they would really make a difference in your life.

Perhaps it’s a business idea that you feel would make a lot of money. Or perhaps it’s an idea  or innovation that would make life easier for someone somewhere. Maybe an idea about someone you would like to have a relationship with? Or what you should do to improve the health of your own body? These are all common ideas that we are excited about, but we don’t allow them to grow. They remain unfulfilled in our mind.

What is it that holds us back? What is it that keeps us from creating the reality we are thinking about?

Expectation & Belief

One of the most significant factors that determines our reality are our expectations.

What we expect dictates what we believe could happen.

What we believe could happen is the line that all thoughts must pass in order to become action. Taking action on a thought is the way it is translated into reality.

Expectations can include what we believe a specific outcome will be, but also what we believe we are entitled to and how we believe we should act in certain situations.

As expectations can often be based on past experience or pre-determined values often our expectations will cause our thinking to follow a similar course to what we have done in the past.

Expectations of outcome often guide our thoughts and our behavior to conform our new experience with a past situation. Here are a few examples of where we have experienced this:

  • Meeting someone we didn’t like the second time. (It is true that it’s important to make a good first impression.) We’ve all had a time when we have met for a second time someone that rubbed us the wrong way when we met them at first. Based on the first interaction all visits that we may have with them in the future may be jaded.
  • Physical characteristics – this idea of being jaded by someone can even follow to others who have a similar resemblance to the one who rubbed us the wrong way. I had an experience where I recognized that I became a friend with someone because he resembled someone I was already very close to. I didn’t realize it until my wife said ‘you know who your new friend reminds me of?” and then she pointed out the resemblance between my friends. Here’s an interesting addition to this story, even though the new friend was rude, sarcastic and less than charming, I still try to think of him in positive ways because my expectations had been previously set by the first friend who was kind, loving, caring and a genuine friend.
  • We also see expectations at work in the movies. If I said Tom Hanks is in a movie what kind of movie do you think you’d be going to watch? What if I said Ben stiller? Would you envision a different kind of film? And when you went to see it how would you feel if it didn’t jive with your expectations? You’d be disappointed. In fact, Hollywood has seen a lot of movies over the years that didn’t make it simply because they changed the formula, or constructed a story with an actor contrary to your expectations.

Entitlement is also an overlooked element of expectations.  What you feel you are entitled to will dictate your thinking on certain matters.

There was a study conducted some years ago to determine the role that sacrifice or activity had on entitlement. The experiment involved two groups. One group was given a variety of tasks to complete and then after completing the work, was ushered into an empty room with a table and chair. On the table was an envelope with $50 bill and the words thank you written on the envelope.

The second group was simply ushered into the room. They had no work to do. The same envelope rested on the table.

The majority of people in the first group that had done the work felt that the envelope was left there for them and it was payment for their efforts. Most in the second group felt the envelope was meant for someone else and it was probably left there by mistake.

Work, sacrifice and effort give the mind a sense of entitlement.

The same can be seen in people that win the lottery. Countless studies have shown that many lottery winners end up with little or no money after a few years. I believe this has a lot to do with the principle of entitlement. Their mind did not believe that the reward was paid for and so it did not hold the value in their mind necessary to sustain it.

Entitlement is a mysterious thing. I often encounter people who feel that they have not yet paid the price to have what they want, to be who the really feel they should be, or have the relationships they deserve because they have not sacrificed what is required. This is a victim mentality and it keeps many from acquiring the reality they truly desire.

So a great question I would have is who determines the price you have to pay? That’s right, in the end you do. And until you feel that you are truly worth the reward often times you can’t bring it into your life. It’s time to rethink things a bit.

The next expectations are expectations about how we believe we should act. I call this social expectation. I have seen many great examples of this. I will share two with you:

A friend of mine is a police officer who often arrives first on the scene after a car accident. Once when we talked about the power of social expectation he shared the story of an accident he was called to sort out. This accident could have been avoided if social expectation were not an issue. One lady had rear ended the back of a man’s truck. It was a beautiful sunny day and the road conditions were ideal in every way.

As my friend pulled up in his squad car he expected it would simply be a case that the lady was not paying attention. To his surprise when he obtained the statement from the lady she said she saw the truck ahead of her, she wasn’t caught off guard and she wasn’t surprised. She just had no where to go.

What about switching lanes quickly or moving to one side to avoid the collision? She answered, well, I thought of that but wasn’t really sure if that was allowed. And I didn’t have time to make an appropriate signal of a lane change. Thank goodness no one was hurt. But the social expectation of staying in the lane is an example of something she had learned socially and what was expected of her in terms of signaling overuled her ability to avoid the collision.

The second experience I have seen at numerous seminars and motivational events. This lesson is often used by the speaker to teach people to think differently and to consider that there are often more direct routes than those we initially consider to solve a problem.

This is how the scenario plays out, the speaker typically takes a prize (I’ve even seen it done with $100 bill) and simply holds it up and asks “Who would like to have this prize?” Naturally a number of hands raise within the group. He asks again, “Who wants this prize?” Still more hands are raised in the group and often people begin to get a little excited. At this point the speaker asks again with more intensity in his voice, “Who wants the prize?” By this time the audience usually gets it and an audience member actually leaves their set and comes to claim the prize. Again this is a great example of social expectation.

Why won’t we leave the seat instantly to claim the prize? We don’t leave our seat to get the prize because we question ourselves. Is it the right thing to do? What will others think of me? Is it proper?  We ask ourselves similar questions on a daily basis that and as a result we prevent ourselves from acting on the thoughts that will empower us most.

Am I allowed to be so bold in my thinking? Or I can think it, but is it proper to act on it? What will others think? And so on. All of these doubts extinguish powerful thinking. And even worse than this is the thought that ‘things just aren’t done that way.’ Or there is a procedure that must be followed in order for it to be done right. In some cases this may be true, but often the very best ways are discovered by innovators who look for a better way than that which is considered traditional.

In a study of the most successful businesses and inventions of all time, you will find that the majority of these successes are innovations on existing ideas. I always get a smile when I hear that Thomas Edison is considered the greatest inventor of all time. It isn’t true. Every major invention that he produced from the light bulb, to the phonograph to the motion picture camera is an innovation on a earlier effort by someone else. You can be an innovator too.

You don’t have to think according to a set of imaginary rules.

Expectations are a great source of power as much as they can be a great obstacle to your success.

If we expect to fail we will not think in empowering ways. We do not dedicate action energy to created failing expectations a reality. That doesn’t mean we don’t dedicate thought to create negative expectations. we do that quite often. If we believe that expectation to be the coming reality, we will create it positive or negative.

If we want success and to create the life we really want we have got to expect it. When we expect to succeed, our thoughts become like a magnet directing all our energies to the success of the thought.

Just a few more thoughts on why expectation is important

The subconscious mind seeks to find solutions to challenges quickly and so it seeks for the most direct route to solutions in the thinking processes. The mind doesn’t really care if the solution is positive or negative. It just wants an answer. When we are on “automatic” pilot, so to speak, our expectations guide thinking almost entirely.

Because our mind is always looking for immediate solutions we think and act from a reactive position.   Essentially what our mind is doing is trying to protect us. It is constantly analyzing scenarios and situations to prevents us from experiencing harm or other things we may need to defend against.

So how can we build positive expectations?

Positive and empowering expectations must be build on purpose and ahead of time. They cannot be reactionary.

Why must they be planned ahead of time and how can that help?

In order to explain why it is important to plan ahead of time what you to expect let me address an important characteristic of how our mind remembers.

Let’s try this together.

I am going to ask you to remember two things, notice which of the two things is easier.

1)What was the date that United States entered world War 2?

2)What did your first love look like?

If you are like most people you found the first question to be much harder than the second. Why is that? The first question dealt with the recall part of your memory. It was a cold hard fact your mind went searching for.

The second dealt with recognition. You probably also spent a lot more time thinking about the second question and you might even still be thinking about it now. emotion is attached more to recognition than recall. for those of you who are familiar with the 5 ways the brain learns this would be experiential learning versus factual learning.

What’s the point? This is the point: It is a lot easier for your brain to recognize something than it is to recall it.

Back to how this effects expectations.

If you build your positive expectations clearly, carefully, and emotionally you will have greater power to recognize these expectations and when you are thinking in harmony with them. Your mind will begin to bring your thinking into a supportive position to these expectations and look for evidence to support your new expectations.

Your mind will also recognize what is not in harmony with your expectations and discard those thoughts.

Later in this course we will talk about how to build stronger expectations to overcome doubts that may exist within your subconscious mind.

But for now the important thing to remember is:

Expectation can be used in a positive way. Once we begin to expect things to occur in a way which is empowering to us our thoughts begin to direct our actions to follow that course.

What we expect, our thinking will support.

Expect good things and your thoughts will follow! If your thoughts follow you will begin to see the fruits of these expectations become a reality in your life.

For more information go to:

How Thoughts Become Things is a brand new movie that unfolds the power that thought plays in creating the results we want most in our lives. How is it that our thought  create our reality and how can we harness that power?

How Thoughts Become Things

How Thoughts Become Things

New article by Douglas Vermeeren on how your mind sabotages your success

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Douglas Vermeeren featured in AKWA Magazine.
Ever wonder why you have trouble staying focused with the goals that matter most to you. This new article focuses on how your mind sabotages you from achieving your greatest successes.Your brain is a curios thing in that it can take some people to the greatest victories of human achievement or others into the deepest despair of anguish and agony. What is it in our brain that drives us towards these outcomes. This new article shares incredible research and new discoveries on how the brain sorts information to either contribute to your success or sabotage.

AKWA Magazine

AKWA Magazine

Thinking and Wealth – How you think can make you rich! Part 1

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What you think about can make you rich

What you think about can make you Rich

Thinking and wealth

By Douglas Vermeeren


As I have conducted my research on the super successful and super wealthy I have found many clues that  are fundamental in creating greater financial success. One that I will talk about in this post is simple but extremely profound. It comes down to appreciation. One of the major differences between those who are highly financially successful and those who are not comes down to appreciating their money.


No doubt there are some people there shaking their heads right now saying, ‘this is silly, we all appreciate money.”  But do we?


Let me explain what I mean by appreciation.  Most people think that appreciation simply means to have good feelings or gratitude towards a thing or situation. Maybe you appreciate something someone did for you or a gift someone gave you.


Appreciation is so much deeper than that, especially when it comes to looking at money. In fact, a great way to explain this might be to look at the opposite of appreciation – depreciation.  This is a word we heard more often when it comes to things in the financial realm.


Most people say they appreciate their money, but they most of the time making purchases that depreciate. Therefore we may safely assume that most people really don’t understand what it means to appreciate their money.


The dictionary defines appreciation as “understanding of the nature and quality of something.” Most people don’t truly understand the value of their money.  Consumer research groups suggest that the average american household spends more than 96% of their income on purchases that immediately depreciate. While it is understandable that some items such as food, clothing and shelter are necessities, the same research indicates that much of the income is currently spent on entertainment. These expenditures have no appreciation value.


If you want to see your wealth increase dramatically you need to begin keep a more careful eye on your depreciation spending.


I am not against enjoying life and having a great time. But to receive great financial returns a small shift is required. My personal research into the lives of the world’ most successful people demonstrates that by delaying immediate gratification and shifting the purchase mentality to appreciation great wealth can be created.


Purchases that appreciate, like investments, begin to place your money in a position where it works for you and grows by itself.




So the next time you are about to make purchases, even small ones, pause and consider the value of the purchase – Appreciative or depreciative. Set a goal to increase the amount of appreciative purchases you are making and you will find yourself moving towards greater financial freedom.



Douglas Vermeeren

Douglas Vermeeren

Douglas Vermeeren is the founder of the Succeed Research center. He has conducted similar research to that of Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich) by studying the lives of more than 400 of the world’s top achievers. He developed several success systems that have revolutionized personal lives, business and financial situations for hundreds of people around the globe. Doug is also the producer of the film The Opus featuring Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Joe Vitale, Bill Bartmann, Marci Shimoff, Morris Goodman, Bob Doyle, John Demartini and others.


Doug is also the Author of the latest Guerrilla Book with Jay Conrad Levinson, “Guerrilla Achiever.”


Douglas Vermeeren is the creator of the 1 X 180 Experiment, where he will attempt to create $1 million dollars from a single dollar in 180 days. (Six months.)