Closed Loop Affirmations – Train Your Brain

Affirmations are great except when they don’t work…

Closed Loop Affirmations logoThe reason is that traditional affirmations are typically done passively and their effectiveness is based on 1) how receptive your subconscious mind is to the particular affirmation along with 2) the emotion with which the affirmation is spoken.

In addition, if the affirmation is for something you have never had before, then there are probably some limiting beliefs that have prevented you from already achieving the affirmation.

All of this lack of effectiveness is often compounded by a passive attitude on the part of the person doing the traditional affirmation.  Maybe it was from the “Law of Attraction” or watching the movie, “The Secret”, but many people think that “things will just come to them.”  The general public just loves the idea of getting something without any effort but the true key to changing your situation in life is the action you take toward your goals and your thoughts that are focused on your desired outcome.

Then, how do I make Affirmations work for me?

Putting aside the drawback, let’s recognize that traditional Affirmations are a good first step, even if they do not go far enough to always get results.  The Affirmation Creation Process helps you clarify your vision for the future as you write your affirmations.  This is a critical first step towards achieving your potential and it will help bring your actions and plans into sharper focus.Affirmations - Action = Nothing

Having said that, it should be noted that Affirmations without Action equals Nothing.  No Change.  So, if Action is the next step, how do I make it happen?  How do I make it happen even if I haven’t had luck in the past?

If you are like most of us, your brain has been trained to look for the easy way, the shortcut or just about anything besides making a plan and sticking to the actions required to make it happen.  What if we could train your brain to find an easy way … by getting excited about discovering a plan and taking action?  That is where the Closed Loop Affirmations(TM) process comes in.

How is the Closed Loop Affirmation process
better than simple, spoken Affirmations?

Closed Loop Affirmations add a key feedback loop to your brain.  It can reinforce the affirmations and use existing subconscious programming / beliefs to move you in the direction of your goals.  Simple, spoken Affirmations are fine but they are more like “wishes” while Closed Loop Affirmations are like commands that get your brain trained to find opportunities you might have missed or motivate you to take action where you might have stayed on the sidelines in the past.

How do I use Closed Loop Affirmations?

(1) First thing in the morning, write down your affirmation(s) when you get up.  If this is the first time you are doing Closed Loop Affirmations, you might want to limit your affirmations to a single affirmation or just two or three.  It takes time to write down each affirmation and you don’t want to dilute your focus when you are getting started.

Why write them down?  Studies have shown that writing down your affirmations helps reinforce them within your nervous system just like writing notes in a class helps reinforce the ideas being taught.Closed Loop Affirmations Worksheet

If you want to use the Closed Loop Affirmation Worksheet, click on the picture to the right and sign up for our Affirmations email list.  You will get a copy of the PDF file (CLA-worksheet-2015) which you can print out and use to write your Affirmations.

(2) Recite the affirmations you just wrote.  Saying them out loud builds another pathway into your brain for the affirmations.  It is similar to hearing someone else say the words… your brain has to process them and integrate the meaning of the words as part of the listening/decoding part of the brain.

Set aside your Closed Loop Affirmations worksheet and go about your day.  You may notice that there will be times in your day that you notice a bit of progress toward the realization of your affirmation(s).  More about that in the paragraph below.

(3) Right before going to bed, review your Closed Loop Affirmation worksheet that you filled out in the morning.  As you look at and read each affirmation that you wrote down, think of any observations of progress that you might have noticed during the day.  Write down any actions you took, ideas you thought of, or any events that took place which moved you closer toward your affirmation.

The key is to look for progress, no matter how small.  As you do this for 30, 60, 90 days you will find that even though you might not make huge strides to your goal, there is almost always some small step in the right direction… and these steps will add up.

Eventually you may have to revise you affirmation to take it “to another level” or even replace it with something more amazing, more energizing or more challenging.

(4) Finally, jot down a note of gratitude for the day.  It can be related to your primary affirmation(s) or just something good that happened.  Gratitude is like the emotional cement that binds your Affirmations into your subconscious mind so it is important to feel grateful for your life.

(Bonus)   If you have any ideas be sure to record them as well so you can refer to them again in the morning.  This way your conscious mind can let them go so you get a good night’s sleep.  [Refer to GRM-Sleep Solutions for ways to solve problems while you sleep.}

 What questions do you have about Closed Loop Affirmations?

Leave a comment below with your results, ideas or feedback.  Or you could join our email list and get the latest news about how to change your life by taking control of your own brain.  Closed Loop Affirmations are just one tool that d.Mark “Dave” Wheeler has developed to help you fight the conditioning your brain has been exposed to by society, the media and even your friends & family.  We encourage you to sign up for our email list so you can stay at the leading edge when it comes to keeping your mind in tip top shape.

What I want from a leader?

What I want from a LeaderA friend of mine posted one of those pictures on Facebook with a beautiful picture and some inspirational words or a quote.  You know the kind.  You see them all the time, right?  Well, for some reason this “feel good picture” got me thinking about leadership and more specifically, “What would I want from a leader?”  Have you ever wondered what the ideal leader would look like?  How they would act?

I don’t know about you, but one of the most important qualities that I want from a leader is their commitment to hold me and the rest of the team to a higher standard than we ever thought was possible.  I want a leader that will push us to achieve more and get the best out of us.

In some ways, I want a leader that is better than we are.  Maybe they are more experienced or they have more enthusiasm than we do or they simply are more dedicated to the success of the group than we are.  In other words, there is a quality in the leader that we can emulate.

I want from a leader …

… someone who is willing to go first and lead us into battle if need be.  They have the courage to step out from the crowd and take on the impossible challenge.  Their bold actions inspire us to follow their example.

I want from a leader…

… a person who recognizes the value of their followers and supports our efforts even when they may end in defeat.  The leader knows that failure is a learning opportunity and doesn’t get caught up in the emotions.  A leader helps us learn from our mistakes and encourages us to do better next time.

I want from a leader…

… the ability and conviction to hold us to a higher standard.  The leader expects great things from us and we rise to the challenge.

I want from a leader…


… someone that values the different roles that make up a team and recognizes that while not everyone will be the best, we can all contribute and grow into our potential.

Do you want these things from your leader?  I bet you do.

Now, here is the tricky part…

Aren’t we all our own leader?

What if we applied these same attributes to how we LEAD our own life?

Will you be perfect, probably not.  No leader is perfect… but they can always get better.

Decide today that you will lead.
Your family.
Your friends.
Your career.
What do you want from a leader … of your life?


Stop Lazy Thinking

I see this commercial by Verizon (see above) and while I understand (and support) the sentiment that we should support girls in the pursuit of their dreams, what really bugs me is the “Apples and Oranges” comparison of statistics that is used right at the end. It is an example of Lazy Thinking masquerading as marketing.  Clearly it was not created by a capable science writer or at least not by an ethical writer with a clear understanding of the proper use of statistics.  As they say, “The numbers don’t lie … but liars often use numbers.”

I hate Lazy Thinking…

The commercial compares a survey of science and math interest at a young age to the percentage of a single type of major (engineering). Those 66% girls who “liked science & math” may be a completely different population compared to the students who make up the 18% of engineering majors.  What if it was rephrased as “82% of 4th grade boys liked science & math and 82% of engineering majors are male”?  Using the logic implied by the commercial, that would mean that every boy became an engineer.  Does that make sense?  I would suspect that “100% of 4th grade boys ‘liked recess’ but what percentage majored in “sports” or something even remotely similar?


The comparison in the commercial also does not address how many of the “66%” might have gone on to major in physics, math, biology, medicine or countless other “science & math” majors.  Based on the statistics presented, it doesn’t make sense to draw a conclusion that girls are not using their interest in “science & math” in other ways when they go to college.  Wouldn’t it be more important to know how many girls (or boys) go on to college in the first place?


One last point…

If 66% “liked science & math” I wonder what percentage liked “helping others” or “fashion” or “taking care of animals”? Any of these areas could have been higher than 66% but the percentage that major in one of those [much more specific] areas would likely be lower than the ones who “liked it” as a kid, regardless of gender.


Bottom Line:

What we like in 4th grade, regardless of gender, doesn’t always have a strong correlation to our major in college or even the career we end up building.  Can’t we just encourage kids to explore lots of areas while they are young?  I would ask Verizon to remove the statistic at the end of the commercial and just end with the phrase (which is already used in the voice-over) “Encourage her love of science and technology and inspire her to change the world.”


The Lazy Thinking Challenge

Am I wrong?  How?  Did I miss something?  I challenge anyone who reads this article to call me to task for any aspect of my argument and point out any places where I’ve displayed Lazy Thinking.  I will admit I’m not a statistics expert and I’m sure there are more specific terms for the mismatch I’ve pointed out so I hope you will point them out for the benefit of other readers.  Where do see Lazy Thinking in the media?  In science?  Leave an example in the comments below and I may feature it in a follow up article !

GRM – Guided Results Meditations Product Page

logo-Guided Results Meditation


GRM or Guided Results Meditations are the latest brain training tool available for people looking for that extra edge in their life or just looking to enjoy life a little more.


GRM™ for Sleep / Relaxation

This Guided Results Mediation™ audio file is the simplest and easiest guided meditation to use successfully since we all have experience falling asleep.  Even if you are currently experiencing difficulty falling asleep, you have certainly fallen asleep at some point in your life so it is definitely possible… you just might need some help. GRM-Sleep/Relax™ is a great introduction to guided meditation and if you would like a copy of the audio file for free, just sign up for our GRM™ email list (see below).

Guided Results Meditation Subscribers List

Not only will you get the GRM-Sleep/Relax™ audio file as our gift to you, you will also get notified whenever we launch a new guided results meditation program.  Once you are signed up, you also get additional information & discounts … assuming you continue to be a subscriber to our list.  We are sure you will, but please know that you can unsubscribe at any time and it won’t hurt our feelings. (OK, maybe a little bit.)  You can even sign up to get the free MP3 audio file and unsubscribe right after, but then you would miss out on the other bonuses and great stuff that we send to our GRM™ list.  It’s your call !


Subscribe to our GRM email list
and get the Sleep/Relax audio file for free !

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GRM™ Programs

When you sign up for our Guided Results Meditation™ email list, you will also be the first to hear when new programs are released.  Below are some of the programs available along with some of the ones we are working on.  If there is one you would especially like us to deliver for you, please leave a comment at the bottom of this page!

    • GRM™-Sleep/Relaxation – Introduction to Consistent Relaxation and a Full Night’s Sleep.
      [Available as a FREE download when you sign up for our email list]


    • GRM™-Sleep Solutions – Everything you will need to generate solutions to the problems on your mind while you sleep through the night.  GRM-SleepSolutions includes two audio files and two PDF files which will help you solve problems while you sleep.  The package includes an audio file which can be used during the day and another for use as you go to sleep for the night.  In addition, the script for the Guided Results Meditation can be downloaded as a PDF file so you can be aware of the words that go into each meditation.  The 4 page GRM-SleepSolutions Worksheet is downloadable as well.
      Buy Now… Price: $49.99


    • GRM™-Ideal Health / Weight – Train your mind to improve your health & food habits.  GRM-Health/Weight Control includes two audio files which will help you think differently about food so that you can maintain a healthy weight.  The package includes an audio file which can be used during the day and another for use at bedtime.  In addition, the script for the Guided Results Meditation can be downloaded as a PDF file so you can be aware of the words that go into each meditation.
      Buy Now… Price: $49.99


    • GRM™-Running Meditation – Use the naturally meditative state of running along with guided audio to inspire creative problem solving.  GRM-Running Meditation includes one audio file which will guide your thinking while you are running so that you can solve problems, think creatively and capture those ideas for use after your run. The package includes an audio file which can be used during your run.  In addition, the script for the Guided Results Meditation can be downloaded as a PDF file so you will know the words that go into each meditation.
      Buy NOW Price: $49.99


    The following programs are in development.
    If you are interested in any of them, please be sure you sign up for our email list so we can let you know when they are launched. Alternatively, if you leave a comment on this page (which requires your email address), we will send you a one-time email when the program you expressed interest is launched. (Either way is fine.)
  • GRM™ – Zen Garden Meditation – Full Body Meditation in the Sand.
  • GRM™ – Key Visualization Tools for Shaping Your Future
  • GRM™ – Feel The Love
  • GRM™ – Stop Smoking / Start Living
  • GRM™ – Happiness Booster
  • GRM™ – Confidence for Business & Life
  • GRM™ – Think Like The Wealthy
  • GRM™ – Positive Thinking for Positive Results
  • GRM™ – Mind Power for Athletes
  • GRM™ – Advanced Strategic Visualization
  • Individually Customized GRM™ - a script and audio file developed specifically for you and your situation.  Contact us for a quote.

How To “5Star Goal Setting & Getting”

5 star Goal Setting and GettingI wrote an article recently about “5 Star Goal Setting & Getting” as a guest blogger over on (check it out) but I reserved the ideas that follow for my own readers.  Take a look at the ideas below and leave a comment to tell me if you think they will take your goal setting (and getting) to a whole new level !

1) Start small when Goal Setting.

It is more important to develop the habit of goal setting and getting than it is to go for the biggest goal you can imagine.  Certainly there is some excitement when you “reach for the brass ring” but setting and achieving goals will give you the confidence to actually tackle your larger goals.

In addition, smaller goals can lead to bigger goals.  You might find that once you meet a certain goal that the larger goal no longer excites you and you can make adjustments along the way.

2) Grow your goals.

Build on your successes and learn from your failures.  As you strive to expand your goals, the skills you learn on smaller goals will help you on the way to bigger and bigger goals.

3) Celebrate and enjoy your success.

Goal setting adds a clear cut sense of a black and white to what is usually a long road of gray.  Life is a journey and we often forget to celebrate our accomplishments when we are caught up in the process and focused on the goal on the horizon.

Finally, rely on motivation, not self-discipline.

A good goal is exciting when you set it.  You can envision it happening and it fills you with anticipation of its completion.  The problem is most people do not hold themselves to that standard of motivation and they set goals that do not get them excited.

Think about it …

If your goal does not motivate you now, how likely is it that your motivation is going to carry you all the way to completion?  Self-discipline is a wonderful thing, but it is a limited resource and if you start using it up right from the start, there won’t be enough “gas in the tank” to get you to your destination.  Save your self-discipline for the times along the way when you encounter stumbling blocks or obstacles and have to put in an extra effort.

Set your first goal … and go for it !

Goal Setting Bonus !

As an added bonus, I’ve created a downloadable free pdf 5 Star-GoalSetting-handout that I use for my 5Star Goal Setting & Getting workshops.  (Right-click highlighted text in the previous sentence and select “Save As” to download the pdf worksheet to your computer).  If you want to learn more about what each star represents, be sure to read my guest blogger article over at


Accountability Partners – The Power of…

Accountability Partner PowerWe all need someone to hold us accountable for the things that we say we are going to do.  If we can’t hold ourselves accountable, then we may need an Accountability Partner !

What is an Accountability Partner?

Simply put, an Accountability Partner is someone that you tell your goals and/or actions so that they can “hold you accountable”.  It is one thing to say you are going to do something and quite another to have someone who won’t let you off the hook with all the excuses you usually use to justify not meeting your goals.  Accountability is one of the reasons that Alcoholics Anonymous is so successful… each person is paired with a “sponsor” who can serve, either directly or indirectly, as an accountability partner through the sobriety process.

How do Accountability Partners work?

Usually partners discuss their goals with each other and commit to hold each other accountable for the (mutually agreed) most important action.  The key is to meet on a regular basis so that you and your partner can keep an eye on your progress and “turn up the heat” on the activities leading to your goal as needed.

How do I find an Accountability Partner?

There are online communities that can provide a form of accountability (like or others for specific activities such as writing or spiritual development) but the best Accountability Partner is someone who you see face-to-face on a regular basis.  A friend or family member might work but they may be too easy on you and let you use your arsenal of excuses.  Someone with a shared interest might be better even if it means setting up specific times to meet and discuss your goals / actions.  Another option could be Networking Groups.  Check out the one created by Heather Hansen O’Neill called Adventure 2 Connection.  She puts together like-minded people for fun activities and networking.


Example of an Accountability Partner…

The HEAD guy when it comes to marketing - Seth Godin

A friend of mine is part of a Mastermind group in Florida and was working with his accountability partner from the group to determine what sort of “penalty” might be the most effective incentive if he does not meet his declared goal/action.  Financial incentives would have to be pretty big since my friend has plenty of money.  He is also not easily embarrassed so a public admission of failure probably would not do it, although that seemed to be closer to the answer.  What did he choose as an incentive?  He promised that if he did not fulfill his commitment that he would go FULL SETH GODIN (and shave his head).  As an added bonus, I put together a little audio clip to give him a little remind of what is at stake (click here for Accountability Sound Clip).

When are you going to build Accountability into your life?

The longer you wait, the farther away your dreams become.  Only if you are accountable for your actions today will you be able to enjoy the rewards in the future.  Get an accountability partner today and start building the habit of being someone that you can count on.  You won’t regret it !


How the Lottery Screws With Your Head

A lottery ticket reveals your
mental programming about money!


Let’s face it.  Everyone expects to win the grand prize when they purchase a lottery ticket… contrary to the statistics that say you are more likely to be hit by a bus, but our general lack of understanding when it comes to reality is a story for another article.

We all have mental programming that creates our attitudes & beliefs about creating wealth in our lives.  Buying a lottery ticket and evaluating the stories in your head can reveal the inner workings of your mind and the ways that it has been programmed.

What happens in your head when you buy a lottery ticket?

The first thing that happens is that your mind, both consciously and subconsciously, is that you start playing out scenarios of what you would do when you win based on the deep, ingrained mental programming you have accumulated over your life.  (Note that I said “when you win”, not “if you win”.  The mind only cares about the winning scenario at this point.)

Pretty much everyone’s “winning lottery scenario” falls into one of the following 3 categories…

(1) Let’s Buy Toys !
or the “YAY, I’m Rich! I can do anything!” scenario…

This involves speculation on all the great things that you can buy… new, fancy cars, boats, planes (?), new clothes, a big house, lavish parties, trips to exotic locations and much, much more.  Since a lottery win is so far beyond most people’s current level of spending it seems like anything is possible.  But do you notice something about this fantasy?  All the money is going OUT of the winner’s pocket once they win.

What does this reveal about your mental programming about wealth?

First, the odds are you are probably poor or lower middle class.  Even if you aren’t now, you will probably end up that way because of your spending habits.  Why?  Because you spend money on things that go down in value or that have no intrinsic (built-in) value.

It is also likely that you buy more than a few lottery tickets per year since you feel the chances of you building a large fortune from scratch

(2)  Give it away !
or the “Share the Wealth” scenario

You imagine how much you will give to charities, what you might buy for your friends and your family and how grateful they will be for being a part of your windfall.

What does this reveal about your mental programming about wealth?

This type of scenario shows that, at some level, you feel that you don’t deserve to be wealthy.  You probably apply this same thinking to other areas of your life to make sure that you do not get too far ahead of your peer group in terms of wealth.  In other words, you hold yourself back to the level of your current status where you are comfortable and people are comfortable with you.

Can you break out of this thinking?  Sure, but it will take a conscious decision to recognize who is honestly would support your increased wealth and who would rather you were more like them.

Alternatively, you may think that you (or “life in general”) should be “fair” and if you have good luck, then you need to spread it around as much as possible.  There is probably a good bit of “guilt programming” built in there too saying that if you have more than others than you should feel guilty about it.  (Recognize any religious overtones here?)

Again, you can break out of this thinking by recognizing that it shows up in your mind and replacing it with more productive thoughts such as “I deserve to be wealthy and by learning the mental techniques I can teach others how to bring themselves up to my level instead of giving them crumbs from my plate.”  It is the old story, “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

(3) Invest in … 
or the “More of what I’m already doing” scenario.

Since you already understand how to grow your wealth, you see a lottery win as something different from most people.  You see it as simply accelerating your current strategy for wealth creation.  Because of this, you rarely buy a lottery ticket (probably less than one a year) and you do it for the entertainment value without worrying about whether or not you will eventually accumulate millions.

Perhaps you buy a ticket when there is an especially large jackpot that catches your attention.  Or maybe you are facing challenges to your plan for wealth accumulation and you feel that a lottery win would help smooth over some of life’s rough patches.

Unfortunately, you eventually realize that money is not the answer to your problems.  More money brings different problems … but that’s OK since it is part of the growth process of life.  Plus, wouldn’t you rather have the problem of managing millions of dollars instead of scraping by to pay your bills each month?

What does this mean for your mental programming towards wealth?

Since most people are a mix of the three responses shown above, it is easy to see how we are all programmed to think certain ways about money.  Your primary response to your lottery win scenario tells you about how your react to money in all areas of your life because the subconscious programming in your mind doesn’t turn off.  It is there whenever you encounter an opportunity to make money or an opportunity to spend or waste money.  If you bring your programming into your conscious mind, you can begin to make changes and when you change your mental programming for wealth, you will notice more opportunities for wealth building as well as ways you can hold onto more of what you already have.

Is there a little-known “4th Scenario”?

Losing Lottery Ticket - Mental Programming 4 WealthAt this point you are probably wondering what I thought of when I got the lottery ticket shown in the photo on this page, right?  Well, I can honestly say that I thought of all three scenarios.  I would probably get a new car (since I am overdue for an upgrade) and most of the money would go towards real estate purchases (NYC brownstone, ski lodge).  It would also help fund my charity which will help teach wealth mentality to more people.

I also created the “4th Scenario” where I bought a lottery ticket (over $130 million grand prize), checked the numbers after the drawing (I lost, of course) and then I wrote an article about it so that the ticket can become a business expense.  :))

What’s your mental programming towards wealth?

Where do you fit?  What stories do you create in your mind when you buy a lottery ticket?  Leave a reply in the comment section below and tell us what you found out about your own mental programming for wealth !


“The Epidemic of Failure” speech

The video below is dMark “Dave” Wheeler’s 2013 contest speech titled “The Epidemic of Failure”.  Please your comments and feedback below !

What is the Epidemic of Failure?



What does Failure mean to you?

Assuming you have watched the Epidemic of Failure video, the question you might be thinking is “What failures do I have in my past that I can learn from?” or “Am I failing enough right now to make progress toward my dreams?”  Either way, an intimate understanding of what you consider failure vs. what you consider “learning experiences” will greatly affect how you frame both past and future events in your life.


Are you facing your own Epidemic of Failure?

Do you have a story about failure? Perhaps one that relates to one of the ideas presented by dMark “Dave” Wheeler?


Our favorite “epidemic of failure” quote…

Success as the ability to go from failure to failure … without losing your enthusiasm.      - Winston Churchill


Did you learn?

We must Keep Failing.  Encourage Failure in others, especially your loved ones.

Fail Often … so you are less sensitive to it and can learn from every failure.

Fail Fast… so the sting won’t last and you can bound back faster.

and Fail Small … so you can make small adjustments before the stakes get large.


Additional Reading on the Mindset of Failure…

“Fail Forward by John Maxwell”


Comments Appreciated !

Please leave your “Epidemic of Failure” comments below so that Dave and others can learn from your experiences !