And through his other edifying novel, Napoleon – Way of the Conqueror: 7 Leadership Lessons He Used & Abused where He takes us back in time not only to meet the great French military genius but also introduced us to his deepest thoughts and aspirations. Through all his books, timeless wisdom that has and will always transcend time has had to hold the torch of guidance.
The Soul of a Dream Catcher is another masterpiece beautifully done by author Mark Weeks. Set in 1948’s worn-torn Italy, we follow Emiliana in her struggle to break free from her parents’ invisible net and seek a life on her own terms. Emiliana meets a witch, a warrior monk, and a shamanic goddess to help her chart her journey and discover her real destiny through tragedy, folly, and perseverance.
This book has been painted with vivid words and situations that try to remind us of the importance of pursuing our aspirations and attaining our destiny. It also reminds us of the assistance the universe sends us through strangers, odd or not, who help lead us when we are weary and uncertain. Soul of a Dream Catcher is a book for dreamers, encouraging us all to pay close attention to ourselves and the universe. Emilia has a long way to go to realise her aspirations despite trusting the process and relying on wisdom bestowed to her by a witch, a warrior monk, and a shamanic goddess. Discover what happens to her in this fantastic novel.
Why read this book
The Soul of a Dream Catcher is a powerful, heartwarming story about how to live with purpose. Bestselling author Mark Weeks tackles the most pressing question of our time: does the universe help us in our pursuit of destiny? Find inspiration and guidance as you embark on your own personal journey of discovery through whatever life throws your way. Also, check out his other great edifying novels.
Download These 3 Chapters From Soul of a Dream Catcher for FREE today!
Napoleon Bonaparte once wrote, ‘The human race is governed by its imagination.’ I’m pretty confident in stating, he believed the majority of people possessed poor imaginations. And, for many people today their imaginations are still not good government. The ‘imagination’ quickly becomes a dictator, and an unnecessary instrument for their own failings.
By not using your imagination positively and creatively you run the risk of being enslaved by it. Imagination has a tendency to run out of control, more often than not culminating in poor self-image and lack of confidence.
The good news is, it’s easy to take control of your imagination if you focus on it. It’s a scientific fact that the brain and nervous system cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is vividly imagined.
The first step in freeing yourself from mental slavery, and the most important, is to imagine the outcome you want and not what you don’t want. Why? Your brain tells you what to do in the future based on its knowledge in the past. And, the only way to see the future is through the power of your imagination.
You have to have the courage to break the cycle. None of us know everything, so why should the past be a reflection of your tomorrow?
Too often, people don’t exercise the control they have and allow their imaginations to destroy their potential – because they picture situations in the past where they have failed. They’re simply not using the power of visualisation to their advantage. Instead of bringing the past into the present you must practice bringing the future into the present.
That last sentence needs to be repeated – I think one of us needs to make it into a meme too
Instead of bringing the past into the present you must practice bringing the future into the present.
I like this short exercise I came across years ago …
Think of a car. Your mind will quite naturally see a car quickly, but it will probably be a hazy picture. If you were asked to describe the car properly you will refocus, because you’re giving clearer instructions. Most likely you will describe your own car. That’s the way most of us tend to respond in life; from our own experiences of the past.
Our minds get by on the minimum of effort, after all, they have a lot to contend with throughout the day!
But, if you desire a car, and have set your heart upon obtaining it, you must see the type of car you want down to the last detail.
At the next opportunity go into a show room, sit in the car of your dreams, take in the smell of the leather interior and feel the steering wheel. Own the picture in your mind, ‘This car is mine!’ If possible, go for a test drive. You might be surprised that you notice more of your cars on the road, once your subconscious mind is truly activated.
Try using this approach to the things you desire – but, be careful what you wish for:)
You may have come across the science known as NLP – Neuro-Linguistic Programming, first developed by scientists Richard Bandler and John Grinder. It’s a powerful methodology on visualisation, and I urge you to either re-visit or learn the techniques and utilise them over time.
What you feed your mind is critical to your success and happiness. And, the place to get the ball rolling and building momentum is through visualising a better tomorrow. The German writer Goethe said it best, ‘Before you can do something, you must become something.’ It’s as simple as that. You must be and act, before you become.
Allow yourself time every day to visualise, imagine and concentrate on what you want in life. Life is far from perfect, but trying to work some type of visualisation into your routine is a must. I tend to do better early in the mornings before I start my work day.
I also find time for a longer meditation on Sundays, which I incorporate into my weight training sessions. However life is working out for you at this moment in time do your future self a big favour and believe in a better day tomorrow. Five minutes a day now will reap a brighter future.
‘So, what would you do? Come on Emiliana, let your imagination go.’
‘Hmmm … you know I’m no good at this sort of thing. That’s why I leave the dreaming to you.’
‘Please try, everything ever achieved starts with a dream.’
‘I can’t, I just feel silly,’ she pleaded.
Peters voice strained a little, ‘If you can’t even imagine a different life how will you ever get one?’ Feeling tired from her continual lack of imagination he added, ‘If you keep on doing the same thing every day of your life, you’ll keep getting the same thing, over and over again.’
‘Okay, okay don’t go on, I get it,’ she said angrily, though refusing to admit she did not get ‘it’. ‘I don’t want to end up like my mother … there, I’ve said it. I don’t want to end up sad and lonely, being a slave to the whims of others. I … I want to prove to her life goes on outside of this bloody village.’
Peter finally got the reaction he was looking for and prodded further with sadistic delight. ‘Maybe your mother is happy. Have you ever asked her?’ He tormented.
Take away lesson: Only you can free you from mental slavery.
It’s one thing to live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with distractions. But it’s another to be unable to put up any kind of defence against them. Constant distractions make it hard for us to focus and stay on task and can lead to feelings of anxiety. If this sounds like you, don’t worry – you’re not alone! In this blog post, I’ll share some tips that will help you overcome constant distractions so that you can take care of what matters: yourself.
It is a common misconception that our generation has it easy. We have all these new technologies and distractions at our fingertips, but this can also make life difficult for us. Constant distractions from the internet, social media, video games, television – they are everywhere! In this blog post, we will explore some of the main causes of constant distraction in your life and how to overcome them.
How Do We Overcome These Constant Distractions?
So, how do we overcome these constant distractions? The first step is to put down what you’re doing and become aware of them. Once you’ve identified the distractions, it’s time to put a plan in place to deal with them. This can be hard, but it’s necessary if you want to focus on the task at hand. Here is what you can do to minimize the noise:
Put yourself in a state of a distraction-free mode
To stay productive, it’s important to establish a distraction-free work environment. One way of doing this is by creating a quiet space for yourself at home or in your office so you don’t have any external distractions that can pull focus away from what needs attention most urgently. Try utilising website blocker software if you find yourself continuously going to video or retail websites. Work on developing behaviours that communicate to yourself and others that you are free of distractions. Your office door should be shut. If you work in an open workplace, you might find it beneficial to relocate to a more private area.
Take on more difficult tasks
Complex activities need more of our working memory and attention, leaving us with less mental resources to seek out the next interesting distraction. When our talents are tested, we are more prone to reach a state of total job immersion. When our talents much surpass the needs of our task, such as when we do monotonous data input for long hours, we become bored.
Keep an eye on your thoughts
This entails being aware of your thoughts and noticing when your mind begins to wander. This helps you to control what you think about and divert your thoughts if you make a mistake. You consciously put the brakes on this distraction rather than allowing yourself to continue strolling over to social media to read your newsfeed.
Controlling your stress will allow you to restore your attention and more easily combat distractions. To lessen the body’s stress reaction, you must discover strategies to quiet your mind and relax your body. Make certain you get adequate rest. Find techniques to control your anxiety by doing breathing exercises.
‘There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.’ ~ Miyamoto Musashi, 1584-1645
A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy.
One of the greatest lessons in life is that others have already trodden the narrow pathway to conquering their own lives. In fact their fortitude, mind-set and resilience leaves our comfy 21st Century lives look embarrassingly soft in comparison.
Your task then is to simply search for those who inspire you and then determine if their principles and systems can be applied, moulded and refined within your life. Sounds simple, right? And if it were that simple why are there still so many disillusioned and frustrated people out there searching for the ‘holy grail’ of happiness? The answer in three words… lack of discipline.
That’s all it is. The need to discipline your mind, body & spirit. Without it you will simply drown in the endless drivel and distractions of life and the media’s ceaseless desire to entertain us and extract our hard earned money. I know I sound a little sceptical, but as I’ve mentioned before, when you reach the ripe old age of fifty you see the same cycles of life repeating themselves, and I’m hell bent on preventing you making the same mistakes I had made.
To illustrate my point, the 21 Principles of Miyamoto Musashi, the Buddhist and Japanese master swordsman, written on his deathbed in 1645 are still as relevant today. Especially if you wish to become the conqueror of your world.1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.
10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
11. In all things have no preferences.
12. Be indifferent to where you live.
13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.
14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
15. Do not act following customary beliefs.
16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.
17. Do not fear death.
18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.
21. Never stray from the Way.
~ Miyamoto Musashi “If you do not control the enemy, the enemy will control you” ― Miyamoto Musashi, A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy“Both in fighting and in everyday life you should be determined though calm. Meet the situation without tenseness yet not recklessly, your spirit settled yet unbiased. Even when your spirit is calm do not let your body relax, and when your body is relaxed do not let your spirit slacken. Do not let your spirit be influenced by your body, or your body be influenced by your spirit. Be neither insufficiently spirited nor over spirited. An elevated spirit is weak and a low spirit is weak. Do not let the enemy see your spirit.”HIS TEACHINGS:
Musashi spent many years studying Buddhism and swordsmanship. He was an accomplished artist, sculptor, and calligrapher. Records also show that he had architectural skills. Also, he seems to have had a rather straightforward approach to combat, with no additional frills or aesthetic considerations. This was probably due to his real-life combat experience; although in his later life, Musashi followed the more artistic side of bushidō. He made various Zen brush paintings, calligraphy, and sculpted wood and metal. Even in The Book of Five Rings he emphasizes that samurai should understand other professions as well. It should be understood that Musashi’s writings were very ambiguous, and translating them into English makes them even more so; that is why so many different translations of The Book of Five Rings can be found. To gain further insight into Musashi’s principles and personality, one could read his other works, such as Dokkodo and Hyoho Shiji ni Kajo.
To combat the noise of the 21st century you must create a formidable fortress to defend and protect your own mental well-being and health. This fortress will become your philosophy of life, it will be impregnable. Though it will appear simple in its structure, the strength of the foundations will last eternity. But the labyrinth of your inner world will be yours to build, give stimulation to and improve upon as you age.
If you refuse responsibility for building your own personal mental fortress you will pay dearly in later life. For you will be always at the whims and mercy of others desires, most of whom do not have your best intentions.
Creating your own personal philosophy can be a hard process to master; it will often feel futile and leave you feeling lost and inadequate. This is why the code of the conqueror framework exists. It distils wisdom and knowledge of centuries into a comprehensive and pragmatic approach to achieving a life on your terms.
But to be of true value you must put your own stamp upon it. Without acknowledging this simple fact you will be forever stuck in the swamp of life with others clinging to you to remain where you are.
Your life is precious; you are worth more than a bit part in someone else’s novel. Make the effort to understand why you do what you do and how you can improve upon the foundations of the code to build your impregnable fortress, one that will endure your lifetime.
Everyone returns to their own truth, now it is time to find yours.
You are conqueror of your life, it is time to be who you were born to be, now rise, and face your day.
“THERE IS A TIDE IN THE AFFAIRS OF MEN WHICH, TAKEN AT THE FLOOD, LEADS ON TO FORTUNE; OMITTED, ALL THE VOYAGE OF THEIR LIFE IS BOUND IN SHALLOWS AND IN MISERIES. ON SUCH A FULL SEA ARE WE NOW AFLOAT; AND WE MUST TAKE THE CURRENT WHEN IT SERVES,OR LOSE OUR VENTURES.” ― WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, JULIUS CAESAR
How many times are you going to hear your inner voice guiding you in the direction you should be taking, yet you continue to ignore or procrastinate making the actual effort to start anything? Only finding months later your ideas have taken shape through someone else’s effort, and even more frustrating the idea has become a success. These people are now looked upon with much recognition, but you know you had the thoughts first. Poor old you, if only you had taken action or voiced an opinion.
So how can you tell if the next tide is the right tide for you to set sail? There is only one solution, learn to listen to the person who knows you best… YOU.
And the only way this can be achieved is through silent contemplation, there is no other way.
With a little effort and patience your true inner voice will guide you in the right direction every time. That’s right every time. Can you imagine how successful your life would be if you made the right choices at the right time, simply by listening to yourself, instead of being led by others and doing what they want you to do.
So how do you know if you’re listening to the right inner voice? It’s true we all have many voices rattling around our minds on occasions. Often these are internalised voices from our past, people who have tried to help us or did their best to put us down; intentionally or unintentionally.
Yet these voices dominate our minds along with the daily media clutter; but that’s another story!
Some of these voices become part of our self-image and help form our values. Some of these voices are helpful, yet some remain negative, critical and over demanding. And if you ‘believe’ these negative voices and follow their direction they will rob you of reaching your true potential and deny you of so much pleasure. This is perhaps one of the greatest tragedies of life.
Your task in conquering your own mind is to distinguish the critic within, which must be silenced at all cost, and the guide within which must be cultivated. Though you must always remain vigilant that your guide isn’t away with the fairies and leading you out on a full tide without a contingency plan and life raft.
Being able to listen and understand your inner voice, I believe, is the most important thing you will ever learn to do. Though it will take time, discipline and courage to achieve.
(Oops! Forgot to mention that part, always read the small print!)
As I stated at the beginning you are the only one who knows yourself best.
Your inner genius awaits, just listen and go with the flow.
#URConqueror is the self-development channel of Azuni World and created by Mark Weeks. Our mission in life is to help educate and motivate people to lead lives of true self-leadership.
And if you are of a similar mind also follow us on twitter and facebook. We will follow you back, our egos are not so inflated that we don’t care about you.
It was legendary sales trainer Tommy Hopkins who first talked about The Law of GOYA, which simply stands for ‘Get Off Your Ass’.
Which of course is pretty self-explanatory, and in times of lethargy over the past fifteen years of my self-development obsession I’ve reminded myself more than once to take some form of action no matter how small on a daily basis. And though I’ve sometimes let myself down, I’ve always returned to pursue my passion of self-development and helping others to realise their true potential.
As a conqueror of your own mind you too will have to return to the fray on a daily basis, there are no shortcuts in achieving control of your life. Nothing can be achieved without self-responsibility, discipline and mindfulness to your daily thoughts.
Just find something, every single day that brings you one step closer to your goal and reward yourself for your valiant efforts, no matter how insignificant they may seem.
I’ve recently found this short piece by Wilhelm Reich hidden away on my laptop and feel the timing is right to share it with you. Please take a minute to read it and reflect on your own accountability. Without action we are destined to be lead by those who manipulate our thoughts. Without action there is no hope. All you have to do is shoulder the barest fraction of responsibility and the world could be a very different place, just go GOYA and make it your very own Universal Law!
“It is the fate of great achievements, born from a way of life that sets truth before security, to be gobbled up by you and excreted in the form of shit. For centuries great, brave, lonely men have been telling you what to do. Time and again you have corrupted, diminished and demolished their teachings; time and again you have been captivated by their weakest points, taken not the great truth, but some trifling error as your guiding principle.
This, little man, is what you have done with Christianity, with the doctrine of sovereign people, with socialism, with everything you touch. Why, you ask, do you do this? I don’t believe you really want an answer. When you hear the truth you’ll cry bloody murder, or commit it. … You had your choice between soaring to superhuman heights with Nietzsche and sinking into subhuman depths with Hitler. You shouted Heil! Heil! and chose the subhuman. You had the choice between Lenin’s truly democratic constitution and Stalin’s dictatorship. You chose Stalin’s dictatorship.
You had your choice between Freud’s elucidation of the sexual core of your psychic disorders and his theory of cultural adaptation. You dropped the theory of sexuality and chose his theory of cultural adaptation, which left you hanging in mid-air.
You had your choice between Jesus and his majestic simplicity and Paul with his celibacy for priests and life-long compulsory marriage for yourself. You chose the celibacy and compulsory marriage and forgot the simplicity of Jesus’ mother, who bore her child for love and love alone. You had your choice between Marx’s insight into the productivity of your living labor power, which alone creates the value of commodities and the idea of the state.
You forgot the living energy of your labor and chose the idea of the state. In the French Revolution, you had your choice between the cruel Robespierre and the great Danton. You chose cruelty and sent greatness and goodness to the guillotine.
In Germany you had your choice between Goring and Himmler on the one hand and Liebknecht, Landau, and Muhsam on the other. You made Himmler your police chief and murdered your great friends. You had your choice between Julius Streicher and Walter Rathenau. You murdered Rathenau. You had your choice between Lodge and Wilson. You murdered Wilson.
You had your choice between the cruel Inquisition and Galileo’s truth. You tortured and humiliated the great Galileo, from whose inventions you are still benefiting, and now, in the twentieth century, you have brought the methods of the Inquisition to a new flowering. …
Every one of your acts of smallness and meanness throws light on the boundless wretchedness of the human animal. ‘Why so tragic?’ you ask. ‘Do you feel responsible for all evil?’ With remarks like that you condemn yourself. If, little man among millions, you were to shoulder the barest fraction of your responsibility, the world would be a very different place. Your great friends wouldn’t perish, struck down by your smallness.”
Make today the day your small ripples turn into waves, after all #URConqueror of your destiny.
Posted by Mark Weeks
#URConqueror is the self-development channel of Azuni World and created by Mark Weeks. Our mission in life is to help inspire and motivate people to lead a life of true self-leadership.
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We all need a reason ‘why‘, yet sometimes it can be kind of tough to pin point exactly what that ‘why’ is and what we really stand for.
Over the past year I have been mentored by an old school friend, Andy Harrington, and through several of his products the main emphasis has been centred upon finding ‘your true reason why‘. So I gave it a shot, I’ve been going around in circles for far too long, what did I have to lose. I tried scratching away at the surface and turned the clock back to 2004, when I longed to put my leadership, people skills and creativity to use in helping others reach a little higher and aspire to lead lives set on their terms.
But it didn’t truly answer my reason why.
Then I recalled many of my trials and tribulations when I visited hundreds of companies as a corporate charity fundraiser. Some days it was tough to say the least, people where unfriendly, sceptical and full of excuses of why a £4 a month donation would lead to their financial ruin. Other days it was a breeze, I meet kind hearted and warm people who would welcome me into their own environment, and regardless if staff had donated or not, I felt I had represented the charities to the best of my abilities.
Maybe it was just me and the way I presented myself on certain days, but the same patterns were forming in different workplaces every single time, this made me curious to say the least. If I visited a company in Norwich one week and then the same companies branch in Southampton the week after, the same attitudes and mannerisms would be identical. It was kind of scary how people are moulded into a corporate culture and systemised!
With the recession over I returned once more to the building industry; as much as my body protested. But still the desire to help others lead a life on their own terms had not been extinguished. Though I still had much work to do in finding my true reason why and in finding ‘my own people’.
My eureka moment! A story, a simple story with issues 🙂
A young Sioux Warrior stole a Bald Eagle egg from its nest, hesitant to show his father he hid it within the family’s chickens nest.He checked the nest every day in anticipation, but then tragedy struck when the young warrior drowned in a freak accident. Life would never be the same for the family, but life continues and the eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and though he felt different he was accepted and grew up with them.
Many of the Sioux children stared and made fun of the odd looking chicken, but no adults took any notice and left the eagle to do what reservation chickens do.
All his life he scratched the earth for worms and insects. He cackled and clucked with the loudest of them. And would beat his wings and fly a few feet in the air when boys threw stones at him. But he was content and just pleased not to be eaten like so many of his friends had been.
Years passed and the eagle grew very old.
One day he saw a magnificent bird above him in the cloudless blue sky. It soared and soared before gliding majestically, with scarcely a beat of it’s powerful wings.
The old eagle looked up in awe. ‘Who’s that?’ He asked.
‘That is the great Bald Eagle,’ his friend replied in an instant. ‘He belongs to the sky. Not like us, we belong to the earth. We’re chickens.’
So the eagle lived and died a chicken, for that’s what he thought he was.