Neuropsychologist Dr. Joseph McClendon shares how to create and maintain daily success.
How do you define success? It’s not always big boats, houses, and cars or multiple commas on your bottom-line net worth. According to neuropsychologist Dr. Joseph McClendon, who spoke with ShipOffers’ Tony Grebmeier in a recent Be Fulfilled podcast episode, success is having the energy and self-certainty that you will see every day as the best it can possibly be.
“Success is healthy, happy, and wealthy. You have the energy and certainty to practice gratitude, you don’t have to fear making ends meet, and your health allows you to do the things you love,” says McClendon. “That’s when you’re successful—when you can check all the boxes.”
McClendon believes that everyone can get to a place of energy and self-certainty that will allow success to thrive. Here’s how he does it every day.
An active imagination can be hard to control, which is why McClendon sought out meditation techniques from Deepak Chopra. Deepak told him to envision a scoreboard with 100 seconds on the clock. To mediate, he should count backward from 100 and say the numbers as he counts. “I started with 100. Then 99, 98, and so on. And when I find that I’m not doing that anymore, I have to start from 100 again.” McClendon says he takes a deep breath and smiles before he starts again, with the goal of not getting frustrated with himself for messing up. (By the way, he never makes it past 85.)
“Meditation is the journey from distraction back to focus,” he says. “I encourage people to find a way to be silent because it forces you to listen to your own conversation with yourself. If that conversation is not doing what I call “love lifting,” which is making you feel proud, happy, loved, joyful, grateful, or any positive emotions, then you’ve got to change it.” According to McClendon, love-lifting is what gives us confidence and builds us up within ourselves. It’s about acknowledging we’ve been beating ourselves up over something and the act of taking away any criticism and negativity we feel for ourselves.
These are the moments when McClendon believes you can forgive yourself for shortcomings, catch yourself from falling deeper into negativity, and reward yourself for changing the script. “Catching yourself in these moments is truly a gift. It takes some effort to redirect to something positive, but it’s a huge favor you’re doing for yourself. Eventually, you’ll start a habit of catching yourself saying creepy things to yourself and replacing that narrative with something else.”
According to McClendon, success is a by-product of magnificence, where you make something bigger, brighter, bolder, or more valuable simply by focusing on it. Doing this requires energy—but not just the kind created by movements or actions.
“When I was a kid, my dad taught me that energy didn’t just come from moving your body, although that was important, too. It also came from your joy towards the things you wanted to do or things you were looking forward to.”
Those feelings of hope, anticipation, and happiness about something in the future gave energy to his goals. When you can revel in those feelings of excitement, it’s easier to put one foot in front of the other and do what needs to be done to maintain that path.
For McClendon, learning to live a life of magnificence is one of the greatest lessons his dad ever taught him. “When you live a life of magnificence, you’re not only amplifying your own success, but also contributing to the lives of others around you. It’s about being greater than the sum of your parts, and I think that everyone can be magnificent if they take the time to magnify and focus on the things that bring the most value to your life.”
McClendon reminds us that habits are just patterns of behaviors. But these habits, conscious and unconscious, are also prefaced by thoughts.
“Something is going on inside our heads that tells us we need to do certain things,” he reveals. “It’s always a conversation. There’s always a thought process. Every word we hear and everything we do has the power to change these conversations.”
McClendon believes that self-certainty is the answer to changing the narrative and creating better habits, and you don’t have to wait until the new year to start. Any time you feel like you need a reset, he suggests starting by cultivating a positive identity about yourself. Everyone already has some level of positive identity, even if we don’t realize it on the surface. It’s our ability to ride a bike, drive a car, make a sandwich—whatever it is that you can do with confidence. You can tap into this and use it to start replacing your defaults, which McClendon feels we should all strive to do.
“Life is exactly what you dare to make it, and fortune favors the bold. The trick to life is to boldly step up and dare to make your life magnificent.”
To learn how to start having the right internal conversations, check out the self-certainty Master Class at https://www.josephmcclendon.com/scm.