by: Bruce Kasanoff -FORBES

One of the smartest things anyone ever said to me was, “Act as if… you already have what you want.”

These three words are like magic, so much so that it’s difficult for me to explain why they can have such a profound impact on your career.

If you act as if you already have been promoted, you will exceed the performance objectives of your current position and become the obvious choice to be promoted.

If you act as if you have already been accepted into graduate school, you will start devoting nights and weekends to studying and expanding your sphere of knowledge.

But these are simple examples that don’t fully take into account how your brain works.

For example, earlier today I exercised with a personal trainer who said, “Man, your quads are so tight. You really have to stretch them.” This is not news to me; my quads have always been tight and difficult to stretch. But later, while stretching on my own, I remembered to act as if my quads were loose and flexible. Almost instantly, my quads released a bit and it was easier to stretch.

Truth is, there’s a lot of New Age hoo-ha associated with these three words. But that doesn’t mean there’s not something to this simple phrase. People generally lose sight of just how important what you believe is to how you feel and achieve.

When you act as if you have more patience, you automatically start practicing what it means to be a patient person.

When you act as if you always are the most prepared person in the room, you raise your standards with regards to what “being prepared” means.

These three simple words simplify the whole process of acquiring new skills and raising your performance levels.

Importantly, they also create congruent behavior, which means that your actions match your intent. I like to call this being coherent… keeping your attention and your intention aligned. That is, if you want to get promoted (your intention), pay attention to what you will be doing once you are promoted. Then do it now.

The simpler a process is, the easier it is to remember and use. Act as if is as simple as it gets.

Act as if you owned the company. Act as if you worked in a meritocracy. Act as if you have the discipline to work hard, eat right, and exercise aggressively 365 days a year.

You can hire consultants, take a dozen training programs, and go to sleep every night wishing for luck to turn your way. But nothing will deliver faster results than when you act as if you already have everything you want.

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