Mental Exercise to Help Create Success—A Follow Up

March 2, 2009 Updated: October 1, 2015
Like a CAT scan, Mr. Feloni's
Like a CAT scan, Mr. Feloni's

Back in early January, we ran an article about getting the year off to a positive start by setting goals and momentum that will carry our efforts into successful results. I shared an exercise that was emailed to me by an old family friend, John Feloni, who is an accomplished consultant, investor, and businessman. John extended a friendly invitation to me with the offer of some coaching and to help me in achieving a higher degree of success in 2009.

So far, following his advice has been paying off. Through participating in his exercise, writing out some of my objectives, and focusing on the tasks needed to meet my goals, the year has thus far been very productive, and I have been able to achieve most, if not all, of what I have set out to do up to this point in the year.

Granted, 2009 is still very young and there is much yet to be accomplished, so I thought it would be worthwhile to share another exercise that he has been kind to engage with me. John and I met over coffee earlier this week, revisiting some of the ideas and objectives we touched upon during the turn of the year. The following is an excerpt of our most recent discussion:

Our beliefs produce thoughts which provide us choices, lead us to decisions, then actions, then results. So if you are not happy with a certain result in your life take the process backwards and see what belief you held that produced the thoughts, choices, decisions, actions and result produced. Fundamentally, everything in our lives rests on our beliefs.

Certainly, our choices are limited by the beliefs we hold. That fact is profoundly powerful in affecting our lives. Change your beliefs and you change your thoughts, which give you different choices upon which you make decisions, act, and produce results. What fascinates me about this sequence is the unlimited potential upon which it can be manipulated to your benefit.

Here’s how: Look at your beliefs, then change them. We are all familiar with medical CAT Scans, Computer Axial Tomography. They are pictures of the inside of a body part from a 360 degree viewpoint. Hmmm. Isn’t that interesting. Look at how different that viewpoint is to a regular x-ray. A Cat Scan provides so much more information to a doctor, provides so many more choices he or she can make to have a positive result for a patient.

Well, this fact had me come up with a concept that I call a SAT Scan. A Spiritual Axial Tomography. It is a 360 viewpoint of any situation. Take a situation in your life and look at it from any and all viewpoints. Adopt the viewpoints of everyone you can, from positive role models such as notable historical figures, spiritual teachers, and successful people versus negative role models like oppressive dictators, criminals or notoriously greedy people.

Ask yourself, given your situation, what would they do? The more viewpoints you can look at your situation from the more choices you will have to ultimately produce the optimal result desired. This is a very powerful exercise and can be used for any situation. Experiment with it. It’s so expansive and enlightening in its application.

Indeed, I found John’s advice and mental exercise to be both challenging as well as commonsensical. With respect to the application of such an exercise to personal finance, one concept came to mind, almost spontaneously, while listening to John convey the SAT scan idea. Of course, the range of application is very broad and one could probably use it for a variety of areas with respect to personal development. For the purpose of this week’s article I will focus on how it is relevant to a change that I have perceived directly:

Pay yourself first. It is a very simple statement but how many people really do that? So many of us are tied to a number regular monthly, if not more frequently issued, bills and financial obligations. These strings of mini-debts can quickly add up and make it difficult to get ahead with respect to savings.

One way to do this, and this ties in with what John discusses about a change in beliefs resulting in a change of effect, is to make yourself the most important recipient of your earnings each time you take income. If you are anything like me, you likely work hard to pay your bills on time and keep your payments low.

I had been finding, however, that this was not always enough, and it seemed too often that I was chasing after bills, month to month, with very little in my own accounts to show for all my hard work week after week. Then, as if it was a predetermined shift in thinking, I realized that in order to liberate myself from the debt wheel every month, I needed to change the position of who controls my money: me.

It sound simple, but to begin seeing some results does require a shift in beliefs, as well as thought processes and actions, which is not always easy. And be careful not to slip back into old habits and ways of thinking. Staying on top of the change is something that takes regular effort but if you try it, you are sure to see results. Through this method I’ve been able to make regular payments to myself, building up some savings for a rainy day, all the while keeping on top of my regular monthly financial obligations.

And if I can do it, anyone can.

I hope you try this out and let me know how it goes. You can write your comments and questions to the editor at: