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Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle By Tom Venuto
How to lose stubborn body fat - natural bodybuilding champion reveals all the secrets...

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Burn The Fat Inner Circle

The Internet's Premier Fat Loss Support Community And Education Resource Center...

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Brink's Bodybuilding Revealed
Independent researcher reviews popular bodybuilding supplements and reveals how to build solid lean muscle...
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The Body Of Your Dreams MP3 Audio TeleSeminar By Tom Venuto
Scientifically proven ways to burn fat, build muscle and sculpt the healthy, lean body you deserve...
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The Fat Burn Files By Tom Venuto
10 uncensored interviews with a renegade fitness guru reveal the amazing body-changing secrets...
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Fit Over 40 By Jon Benson and Tom Venuto
How an obese couch potato - ordered to " lose weight or die" - discovered an amazing anti-aging fitness secret...
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Firm And Flatten Your Abs By David Grisaffi (Foreword by Tom Venuto)
Quickly Shrink Your Waistline, Lose Body Fat, Eliminate Low Back Pain And Develop A Stunning Set of Six Pack Abs...
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In This Issue (#57)

  • Editorial: The Best Motivational One-Liners
  • Ask Tom Q & A of The Month: "The Incredible Shrinking Fat Cell!" What Really Happens When Body Fat is Burned?
  • Article of the month: Chris Mohr, PhD, RD, Interviews Tom Venuto About Burning Fat - HOT NEW EXCLUSIVE!
  • Monthly Motivator: The Science Behind Vision Boards and the Law of Attraction by Tristan Loo
  • Motivational Quotes of the month


Editorial by Tom Venuto

The great "success philosopher" Jim Rohn always spoke about developing "your own personal philosphy. He also taught in really short sound bytes... one liners.

Don't you love one liners?: Quotes, maxim's, mottos, philosophies, belief statements, affirmations, declarations, incantations, tag lines, slogans, etc? I sure do.

They're so Memorable that they can become like personal affirmations and you can even adopt the one liners you like as part of your own personal philosophy and belief system.

Earlier this week, we started a thread in my Inner Circle discussion forum about "favorite one liners" and the list kept going and going and going. There was some stuff in that list that was too good not to share with you and all the rest of my subscribers, so I decided I would copy and paste them out of the forum to here in this month's editorial.

Here are some of my favorites. I hope you enjoy them and please feel free to email me if you have some more you think we should add to our list!

Whatever works, whatever is useful
Find out what works and keep doing more of it
Doing more of what doesn't work is also known as insanity
Do what you always did, get what you always got
There's no such thing as failure, only feedback (only results)
The person with the most choices and most flexibility has the most power
The opposite of courage is not cowardice, it's conformity
Consistency: It's what you do every day, not every once in a while, that counts
By their fruits, you will know them
Habit power is 10,000 times stronger than willpower
Accept everything as a challenge
Some people need a good phobia... of mediocrity
Every behavior has a positive intention at some level
The meaning of your communication is the response that you get
The meaning of your actions is the results that you get
Results are what counts
You can make excuses or you can get results, but you can't do both
Let your results dictate your approach
The map is not the territory
Better your best
Raise your standards
Banish the doubt
Success is goals, all else is commentary
Nothing happens until something moves
Don't complain, don't explain
Use the word “impossible” with the greatest caution
The difficult can be done immediately, the impossible takes a little longer
You can't give away what you don't have
You cannot teach what you haven't already done yourself
Be open to everything and attached to nothing
Don't die with your music still in you
You can't solve a problem at the same level of thinking that created it.
Everything happens for a reason
Whoever comes along is the right people
Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened
When one door closes another door opens
When it's over it's over
This too shall pass
It's not how hard you fall, it's how high you bounce
Fall down six times, get up seven
Every low precedes an all-new high
Every adversity contains the seed of greater or equal benefit
You become what you think about
Thoughts are the cause, behaviors are the effect
You move towards what you focus on
Where attention goes, energy flows
Motion creates emotion
Whatever your mind can conceive and believe it can achieve
All growth takes place outside your comfort zone
The pain of every change is forgotten when the benefits of that change are realized
You can't get something for nothing
The best way to get started is to get started
No one ever drowned in sweat
If you don't have control over it, then why worry about it
If you do have control over it, then why worry about it
Stand on the shoulders of giants
The first key to getting what you want is knowing what you want
Think positive, but move your ass, too
Lead from the front
Walk your talk
Set the example
BE the change you want to see
do it now
There may be some limits, but we can act as if there weren't
Be a student not a follower
Repetition is the mother of skill
You mind is like a parchute, it only works if it's open
Find your why
The purpose of a goal is not to get something, it is to become something
No one knows HOW to do something until after they've done it
Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever
Try not! Do or do not. There is no try
Life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself
Get brilliant on the basics
Never compromise your primary objective
How bad do you want it?
Never confuse activity with progress
Get busy living or get busy dying
Act As if It were Impossible To Fail
never take counsel of your fears

And my all time personal favorite...

"Train hard and expect success"
-Tom Venuto


in 2005, Life Coach and nutritionist Jon Benson teamed up with fat loss expert and bodybuilder Tom Venuto to create "Fit Over 40: Role Models For Excellence At Any Age," and it’s now available in both ebook and hard copy editions along with some very special bonuses.

Fit Over 40 is NOT just a health and fitness "how to" book for the over 40 crowd, filled with exercise, nutrition and fitness tips. Fit Over 40 is also an inspirational e-book, profiling 50 amazing human beings - age 40 to 80 - who defied the odds and created bodies and levels of fitness and health that would be envied by 20 or 30 year olds!

These "chicken-soup for the soul-style" success stories and before/after transformations have to be seen to be believed! These are just a few of them:

  • A 77-year-old grandmother who trains and competes in bodybuilding with her 48-year-old daughter!
  • A 49 year old man who overcame Multiple Sclerosis, and built a body that would impress Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • A 46-year-old morbidly obese man from Chicago who lost 130 pounds in one year, and today is a fitness addict who runs in skyscraper stair climbing races (he even runs the Sears Tower race, placing in the top 8% of the field)
  • A 55-year-old former skid row alcoholic and drug addict who found rehab and relief from addictions through strength training and exercise
  • A "heart-cripple" who literally regenerated 75% of his dead heart tissue and today competes in bodybuilding - at the age of 74! (His tissue regeneration was clinically documented by his ama zed and stunned physicians.)

And here's a pre-view of the type of body-transforming, youth-restoring information you'll learn:

  • How to rebuild your body to the muscularity of a 20 or 30 year old - or, just tighten up the "mushy spots" that you thought it was too late to do anything about.
  • How to melt inches and pounds off your body, by accelerating your metabolic rate and releasing a flood of youth restoring growth hormone - naturally
  • How to get super-motivated instantly, change self- limiting beliefs and build up your confidence and certainty, no matter how old or out of shape you are

By using the methods revealed in Fit Over 40, an older man or woman can enjoy the following benefits:

  • A flat stomach and a smaller waistline
  • Stronger libido and a better sex life
  • Impressive muscularity
  • Higher levels of naturally-released GH and testosterone
  • Remarkable energy and stamina
  • Increased mental alertness
  • A stronger, healthier heart
  • Reduced biological age (look 15-20 years younger)
  • A powerful immune system
  • More ZEST for life!
  • And much, much more

"I am not kidding when I say my wife and I were simply stunned as we paged through this book. This isn't just a guide. This is total inspiration and motivation. The stories will have a tremendous impact and help you realize what is truly possible. If you have trouble believing in you, then read these stories of others who believed in themselves and prove that no excuse is good enough..."

- Jeremy Likness
Author, "Lose Fat, Not Faith"

You can now get a free preview, which includes the introduction and 4 free chapters of the book! Plus, there's a brand new audio CD, MP3 bonus and hard copy book edition available for the first time ever as well.

To learn more (and to download your free sample), visit:


QUESTION: Dear Tom: would you please try to explain in laymen's terms exactly what happens when you start to burn body fat. I heard a statement that the fat cell has to get moved into the muscle cell for it to be released or burned. Thought you could explain a little better.

for the answer, click here:


"Fat Burning Secrets Revealed - The Interview"
Featuring Chris Mohr, PhD, R.D.

With Tom Venuto, CSCS, NSCA-CPT

Chris Mohr: Tom, you created Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, which is the #1 fat loss e-book on the Internet. Can you briefly summarize this program for our readers?

Tom Venuto: Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle (BFFM), could be described as the bodybuilding style of training and nutrition because it’s based on how bodybuilders and figure competitors eat and work out to get so lean, but BFFM is NOT just for bodybuilders. Anyone can use these methods whether the goal is losing 100 lbs, losing 10 pounds or hitting the competition stage.

My overall premise is that it’s better to exercise more and eat more than it is to eat less (diet) and exercise less. Either way you could have a calorie deficit and lose fat, but the difference is, with the BFFM approach, you get all the benefits of exercise that you don’t get when you’re sedentary and just cutting calories. You also get to eat more, which is a lot more fun, not to mention it allows you to take in more vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, essential fatty acids and essential amino acids. You could lose fat with any calorie deficit, but very low calories and low activity is not the best way to do it, unless you want to end up a “skinny fat person.”

BFFM is a combination of nutrition with exercise and the exercise portion of BFFM has to include a resistance training and a cardio training component. If someone isn’t lifting weights or doing some kind of resistance training, they’re not doing BFFM. The cardio portion of the BFFM training isn’t prescribed in a specific amount like many other programs, the amount of cardio is adjusted according to your results. simply get yourself into a feedback loop where you measure your results every week and then adjust the intensity, frequency or duration based on your weekly results. If you get the results you want, you don’t change a thing. If you don’t get the results you want, you change your training (increase cardio) or nutrition (decrease calories) and then repeat the process for another week.

The other component, which supports the nutrition, weight training and cardio training is what I call “mental training.” This includes goal setting, positive self-talk or affirmations, visualization and self image modification. Out of all four components, the biggest emphasis in my e-book is on nutrition because although all four pieces work together, the nutrition is one of the most important aspects of all, in my opinion.

Chris Mohr: You’ve competed in bodybuilding, but a lot of our readers have more simple goals--lose 10 lbs, shape up for a wedding, high school reunion, etc. How do your fat loss recommendations change from body building to more general "weight loss" (or do they?)

Tom Venuto: In general, bodybuilders have to train harder, they have to train longer and they have to be more disciplined. Competing in bodybuilding is a big goal and big goals require a big effort.

But aside from the level of work and discipline that goes into it, the main difference between bodybuilders and non bodybuilders with general fitness and weight loss goals would probably be in the training more so than the nutrition. Good nutrition is just good nutrition. Competition bodybuilding diet may require a stricter approach, maybe fewer carbs, and more time dieting to reach a lower body fat percentage, but the basic principles are the same. That includes a calorie deficit, small frequent meals, a lean protein with every meal, a balance between lean protein and natural carbs, plenty of fiber, a low fat, but not non-fat diet, fats that include plenty of EFA’s and a proper ratio of omega 3 and omega 6, drinking plenty of water and adequate post workout nutrition. None of this really changes that much from bodybuilder to recreational exerciser. It’s the training that would be different.

Bodybuilders will almost always do their weight training on a split routine with body part groupings. This is true even on pre-contest fat loss programs. The bodybuilder depends on nutrition and cardio to take off the fat and doesn’t use the weights as a direct means to burn fat – the weights are used as a bodybuilding tool. The non bodybuilder, like the person getting ready for a wedding or reunion, might use a full body routine. If they do use a split routine it would probably be a two day split with half the exercises one day and the other half the next, not a traditional body builder split that hits each muscle once a week.

The workouts then would be set up almost entirely with compound exercises, focusing on squats, lunges, step ups, deadlifts, rows, presses and abdominal/core exercises. The exercises would be done in superset pairs, tri-sets or circuits, so the weight training may lose some of the body-building effect, but it gains a greater fat burning effect and a strong stimulus to the metabolic rate. People with these types of goals might even use body weight exercises like push ups or callisthenic type exercises like burpees, jumping jacks and so on, mixed in with resistance training. The goal here is literally using weight training for fat loss as opposed to weight training for bodybuilding – there is a distinct difference in training style.

Chris Mohr: When someone is trying to lose fat, what are the 5 most important components of successful fat loss?

Tom Venuto: First is the caloric deficit because this factor trumps all the other factors. You have to burn more calories than you consume to lose body fat. You can kick, scream, and protest all you want but you cannot get around the energy balance equation.

Second is weight training. I guess I take the importance of weight training so for granted that I almost automatically assume everyone is already doing it. But I’m always surprised to hear how few people, especially women, are doing any weight training when their goal is fat loss. I have often said that increasing cardio is the key to fat loss, but I’ve said that with the assumption that the weight training was already in place, not that cardio is adequate without weight training. If anything, I’d say get the weight training in place first, then add the cardio.

Third is cardio training. I’ve seen just about every kind of cardio produce results, from walking to high intensity interval training, so all exercise is good exercise, but for maximum efficiency, at least some of your cardio should be high or at least moderate in intensity if you are already fit and free of orthopedic or cardiovascular problems that would contraindicate higher intensity work. I also believe in cardio progression, where cardio is increased in intensity, duration or frequency, or changed to more challenging types of cardio, if a plateau needs to be broken.

Fourth is cycling the calories, meaning a zig zag or reefed approach instead of staying on low calories and or low carbs all the time. Also periodic breaks in the deficit by going up to maintenance levels when there is a long term weight loss goal that requires more than 12-16 weeks to achieve. This has been a secret diet weapon of bodybuilders for as long as I can remember, so I’m actually surprised this method hasn’t caught on more in the mainstream. If you look at the research on Leptin, you can see there is a scientific basis for carb cycling, and there’s a practical basis too as it improves compliance since the dieter gets to eat more with a periodic clean food re-feed, in addition to allowed free meals.

Fifth is get your carb level right for your body type and activity level and don’t be afraid to experiment with a moderate reduction in carbs, if necessary, to improve fat loss, but at the same time remember that #1 is calories, and avoid “carbo phobia.” I’ve found that a moderate decrease in carbs can help with fat loss while maintaining energy, mental focus and lean body mass. For example, .8 to 1.0 grams of carbs per lb of bodyweight is a reduced carb diet similar to what I use before competitions, and I find it quite effective. Extreme low carb diets are not necessary.

Chris Mohr: What's the deal with low carbs--are they all their cracked up to be?

Tom Venuto: Reduced carb dieting can definitely improve fat loss, but it may not be for the reasons that some people think. Remember we said that the bottom line is calories in versus calories out? Well, low carbers usually don’t want to admit this - they usually want to insist on "metabolic advantage" - but the fact is, one of the biggest reasons that low carb diets can help improve fat loss is because its very difficult to overeat when you restrict an entire group of energy dense foods like carbohydrates. If you put any restriction whatsoever on fat intake on top of that, then it’s virtually impossible from a practical standpoint to overeat. See how hard it is to eat in a calorie surplus if you’re only allowed to eat lean protein, salad veggies and green veggies with a little bit of essential fat. You’re going to lose fat like crazy on a diet like that, but its not necessarily because carbs are low, it’s primarily because CALORIES are low. The problem is a diet like that is hardly sustainable.

That said, there are some advantages of a lower carb diet. For one, a low carb diet, tends to be higher in protein. Since protein has a much higher thermic effect, it can lead to slightly greater fat loss than a diet of the same calorie amount that is high in fat and carbs. There are also quite a few studies showing that lean protein is very effective at blunting appetite, so by eating lean protein with every meal and taking a slightly higher intake of protein, you effectively control appetite. You also tend to get better glycemic control with reduced carbs, so there may be some body composition advantages to that as well. But again, the real bottom line is calories, not carbs.

Very low carb or ketogenic diet programs often tell you not to count calories and say you can eat as much as you like if you just stick to protein and fat. They are making a huge assumption that by restricting carbs and allowing high fat intake, your appetite will regulate itself and you will automatically eat in a deficit as a result. This is often the case with low carb, high fat diets, which put no limits on your calories, but there is nothing about a low carb diet that allows you to eat unlimited calories. If you eat in a surplus, you are going to gain weight, no matter what the macronutrient composition of the diet.

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Chris Mohr: What are your recommendations for how much protein someone should eat when shedding body fat?

Tom Venuto: We could give a recommendation by percentage of total calories or by grams per pound of body weight. One gram per pound of bodyweight is a pretty good guideline, although if someone is a serious competitive bodybuilder, I wouldn’t hesitate to say 1.25 or 1.5 grams per pound. If someone were using a very low carb diet, then I also wouldn’t hesitate to go 1.25 to 1.5 grams per pound because the higher protein offsets some of the drop in carbs. If you like to prescribe protein as a percentage of total calories, 30% of total daily calories is usually a pretty good guideline if someone falls within the average ranges for body weight and energy expenditure, and maybe as high as 40% when on a reduced carb program.

I realize there are some drawbacks to giving protein intakes by percentage, but the same could be said for giving protein recommendations by grams per pound of body weight as well. For example, if you have an obese 400 pound man, do you give him 1 g per lb of bodyweight? Each method has pros and cons so every situation has to be taken individually.

Chris Mohr: Off nutrition for a bit--what are your 5 most effective training tips for fat loss?

Tom Venuto: First is to include weight training as a way to maintain or increase lean body mass, which will help maintain optimal metabolism long term. I’m still shocked at how many people are still not doing any weight training and they’re focusing only on diet or diet plus cardio.

Second is to include primarily compound, multi joint, basic free weight exercises. If you’re a bodybuilder, you’ll also be doing isolation exercises and working the small muscles like calves on a body part basis, but the isolation work and machine work shouldn’t take precedence over the basics, which involve more muscle mass, burn more calories and stimulate metabolism more.

Third is to increase the density of your weight training. Density means more work in less time. Instead of making workouts longer, you do more work in the same time or even in less time. This can be achieved by decreasing rest intervals and by using a lot of superset training. When you combine the use of supersets or other types of density training with the compound exercises, the results are even better still.

Fourth is to do at least some of your cardio with intensity. All activity will contribute to fat loss, but in a linear fashion. With high intensity comes an exponential increase in results. Common sense alone says that if you work harder, you will burn more calories and therefore more body fat. The problem is many people still believe in the fat burn zone which suggests that you have to intentionally slow down and exercise at low intensity to burn fat because when you exercise at high intensity, you burn more carbs. The problem with this line of thinking is that the lower your intensity, the fewer calories you burn overall and therefore the less fat you burn. Most people think exclusively of high intensity interval training when they think of high intensity cardio, but I’ve found that regardless of whether you use intervals or maintain a steady pace, either way, if you simply push yourself harder, you burn more calories and more fat.

Fifth is when you want to create a change in your body, do all your training with progression and variation. It’s impossible to improve workout performance at a constant rate forever, but during periods when you want a major body change, your goal should be for each workout to build on the previous one. A lot of people ignore this and they continue to repeat the same workouts they’ve done in the past and wonder why they keep getting the same results. The body adapts to everything in time and the longer you’ve been training, the faster it adapts. Workout routines need to be changed often and that includes exercises, sets, reps, rest intervals, tempo and every other variable. Remember, do what you’ve always done, get what you’ve always gotten.

Chris Mohr: What role does behavior play---can you change someone's thoughts and mind about fat loss?

Tom Venuto: Most people think behavior is changed with willpower and in fact, willpower does gets you started, but it doesn’t keep you going. Only habit keeps you going. The true source of your behavior is the subconscious mind, and a habit is a behavior pattern fixed in the subconscious mind. If someone wants a permanent behavior change, whether it’s trading in white sugar for fruits and vegetables or trading in some TV time for gym time, a change has to take place in the mind first.

The conscious mind is the part we are aware of and which we think and rationalize with. The non conscious is the same part that’s responsible for the autonomic functions of the body. If you think about that, it makes sense then that the non conscious part of the mind is the part responsible for automatic behavior as well. If your mind can circulate your blood, digest your food and release hormones for you without you having to think about it, then certainly it can put mundane daily behaviors on auto pilot as well. And it does –that’s called habit.

The majority of what we do every day – probably 90% of our actions – are patterns which we repeat without thinking about because they are generated on a non conscious level. As long as old thought and belief patterns are in the non conscious mind, old behavior patterns will keep running. And this explains why so many people start out with guns blazing but they can’t stay on a diet or exercise program long term.

This is not psycho-babble either; the scientific community has studied this problem and concluded that the reason diets fail is lack of compliance. Some programs are obviously better than others because they are lifestyle based and not quick fixes, but research has shown that virtually any of the popular diets today can work if there is a calorie deficit. The problem is, few people can stick with any diet for long. If you can master compliance and master your habits, you can master your weight.

The secret is not teeth-gnashing willpower, the secret is to change the subconscious pattern and that’s done by changing what you think, what you say aloud and what pictures you make in your mind. Whichever thoughts you think and whatever pictures you make over and over in your mind get programmed into the subconscious as instructions.

So if you struggle with compliance and permanent behavior change, you really have to take up a program of mental training right along with the physical training. Whenever I see someone and I know they have a solid training program, and if they got their nutrition program from a guy like me or you, Chris, we know they’re eating properly, but if they keep falling off the wagon and they lack consistency in behavior, I know that person has probably neglected the mental training side of things. That’s why my BFFM program is: Nutrition + cardio training + strength training + mental training. Almost all the top pro and Olympic athletes in the world do mental training and take it very seriously, so why not you? Put the mental training component together with a winning nutrition, cardio and strength training program and you can develop virtually any physique that is within your genetic limits.

For more information about Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle (BFFM), visit:

About Dr. Chris Mohr:

Dr. Chris Mohr RD, PhD is a nutrition consultant to a number of media outlets and corporations including Discovery Health Channel, Clif Bar, Waterfront Media, and Fit Fuel. He has authored and co-authored several textbooks and textbook chapters, including consulting with LL Cool J on "LL Cool J's Platinum Workout" (Rodale). He is also co-creator of Meal Plans 101 nutrition software. For more information on how Chris can help you create menus and meal plans with the click of a mouse, visit:

Independent Researcher Known For Brutal Honesty
Reviews Popular Bodybuilding Supplements and Reveals
How To Build Solid Lean Muscle Without Drugs


If you’d like to see an independent expert’s review of popular bodybuilding and muscle-building supplements, and you'd like to learn which one's really work and which ones are complete hype, I highly recommend Will Brink’s NEWEST e-book, Brink’s Bodybuilding.

Will is an independent bodybuilding & fitness writer/researcher who is not affiliated with any supplement company. What’s more, Will is a stickler for the facts and for the unbiased reporting of research.

Note: The training section by world renowned Strength coach Charles Poliquin is simply priceless. Click here to find out more:


The Science Behind Vision Boards and the Law of Attraction
By Tristan Loo

A vision board is a simple yet powerful visualization tool that activates the universal law of attraction to begin manifesting your dreams into reality. The concept of the vision board (also known as a goal board, goal map, or treasure map) has been around for generations, but it's gained a renewed interest and popularity after success expert John Assaraf related his story of using vision boards to achieve his dreams in the best-selling DVD documentary The Secret. (1)

A vision board is simply a visual representation or collage of the things that you want to have, be, or do in your life. It consists of a poster or foam board with cut-out pictures, drawings and/or writing on it of the things that you want in your life or the things that you want to become. The purpose of a vision board is to activate the law of attraction to begin to pull things from your external environment that will enable you to realize your dream. By selecting pictures and writing that charges your emotions with feelings of passion, you will begin to manifest those things into your life.

The Law of Attraction

What exactly is the law of attraction? The law of attraction states that we attract into our lives anything that we give attention to, regardless whether it be positive or negative.

From a psychological view, the law of attraction can be best explained by the information filtering system of the brain known as the reticular activating system (RAS). Vision boards serve the role of programming the RAS to tune into external stimuli that can help us move closer towards our intentions.

At the base of the human brain stem, in between the medulla oblongata and the mesencephalon, there is a small finger-sized control center called the reticular activating system (RAS) that sorts and evaluates incoming data.3 Your RAS is responsible for filtering all the incoming information that your brain receives and it also acts as receiver for information that is tagged as important.

A simple way to conceptualize the RAS is to think of it like a radio. You are surrounded by radio waves from various stations and your portable radio can pick up those channels, but only one at a time. You have to tune your radio to a specific frequency of your favorite radio station in order to receive it properly. Your RAS is not much different in this regard. Imagine you are in a meeting room talking to several people and out in the distant corner of the room you hear your name. All your focus gets diverted in the direction that you heard your name because that bit of information is tagged by the RAS as important to you. Your RAS is responsible for having the ability to sleep through the noise of traffic outside your room, but waking up suddenly at the smallest cry from your infant child. Another example of the RAS at work is when you go and buy a brand new car and then suddenly you notice many more people around your city have that exact same car.

According to Hans Morvec, the principal research scientist at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, the human brain can handle up to 100 trillion bits of information at any given time.4 With all that information coming in, how does your RAS know what to filter? Your RAS is naturally programmed to prioritize information that is necessary for survival, like listening for a the particular sound of an oncoming vehicle when walking close to a street. The RAS can't distinguish between a real event and a contrived reality, however, and we can exploit this weakness to program it to seek out stimuli in our environment that resonate with our goals. The process of creating a vision board is one of the best ways to program the RAS. It programs the RAS to pay attention to certain things in your environment that are in frequency with your goal or vision, in much the same way as you are able to pick up your name being mentioned in a conversation on the other side of a room while talking to others. This selective attention filter makes you aware of daily things that can help you achieve your goal and it's your job to take action on those opportunities when they present themselves.

How to Make and Use Your Vision Board

Your personal vision board is only limited by the extent of your own creativity. Some of my students have produced simple vision boards and others have made vision boards that could probably sell at an art show for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Having artistic ability is not a prerequisite for creating a functional vision board however and the procedures I've outlined below can be used by anyone.

The general elements that a well-designed vision board should include are:

  • Visual. Your subconscious mind works in pictures and images, so make your vision board as visual as possible with as many pictures as you can. You can supplement your pictures with words and phrases to increase the emotional response you get from it.
  • Emotional. Each picture on your vision board should evoke a positive emotional response from you. The mere sight of your vision board should make you happy and fuel your passion to achieve it every time you look at it.
  • Strategically-placed. Your vision board should be strategically placed in a location that gives you maximum exposure to it. You need to constantly bath your subconscious mind with it's energy in order to manifest your desires quicker than you hope.
  • Personal. Negative feelings, self-doubt, and criticism can damage the delicate energy that your vision board emits. If you fear criticism or justification of your vision board from others, then place it in a private location so it can only be seen by yourself.

Supplies Needed:

  • Foam core board (recommended) or poster board
  • A large assortment of magazines. You want to make sure that these are in color. You can go to various businesses or hospitals to ask for their old issues.
  • Glue. I prefer the dispenser type tape rollers, commonly used to mount photos because they are clean and won't damage your pictures.
  • Scissors
  • (Optional) Color inkjet or laser printer
  • (Optional) 3 1/3” x 4” or larger printer labels. I use Avery #5164 mailing labels that work great.
  • (Optional) Internet access

Step 1—Compile your pictures.

Start by going through your magazines and compiling all the pictures that you can find that are relevant to your goal. Don't evaluate the pictures or start pasting them onto your board. Just stack them into a pile. If you are internet saavy, then a much quicker method that I do myself is to use an internet search engine to find good pictures that I can use for my board. You can either print the pictures out on paper and then glue it to the board, or print the pictures out onto a self-adhesive label so that it becomes a sticker. This is the preferred method because it is takes much less time to do and you can pinpoint your pictures using very good technology at your hands. Make sure that each image that you put on your board resonates with your heart and makes you excited at the mere look of it. It's also important when selecting pictures to include anything that is congruent with your goal, such as any changes in your life that might result from obtaining your goal. So if your goal is to have a six figure income, then select pictures of a lifestyle that is congruent with your six figure income.

Asking yourself the following questions might help you design a congruent vision board:

  • What would you do differently when you realize your goal?
  • Where would you travel?
  • Where would you live?
  • What would you wear?
  • What things would you own?
  • What kind of vehicle would you drive?
  • What would you do for work?...Or would you work?
  • Who would you help?

Step 2—Sort and Cut.

Go through your pile of pictures and select the ones that impact you the most emotionally. Cut the extraneous material away from the image.

Step 3—Arrange and glue.

Start arranging your pictures creatively on your board. Don't worry about being artistic—that's not the point. The point is that your board should resonate with your emotions. Arrange your pictures in a way that gives you an emotional connection to your vision board. After you are satisfied with the arrangement, glue all your pictures in place. Additionally, you might want to add writing or drawing on your vision board if you feel that it would better resonate with your emotions. A feature unique to my vision boards is that I also put two labels on the bottom of board that read: “Date created: [today's date]” and “Date Manifested: [blank]” This lets me know how long my vision has been gestating since its creation and also every time I look at my vision board, not only am I emotionally charged with the pictures, but I also feel an overwhelming sense to see it manifested to completion.

Step 4—Strategic positioning.

The most important part of having a vision board is having it in a strategic location that gives you as much visual exposure to it throughout the day. For most of us, this is in the office, but if that is not possible or appropriate, then try your living room or your bedroom. Some people I know mount their vision boards on the ceiling above their bed so that it is the first thing they see when they wake up and the last thing they see when they go to sleep. If you are sensitive to what others might say of your vision board, then be sure to keep it in a safe area where only you will see it. Negative criticism or justification of your dreams can kill the energy that your vision board releases. As Brian Tracy states, “What they don't know, can't hurt you.”(7)

Step 5— Update your vision board.

Your vision board has to inspire you. It has to charge you with renewed passion everytime you look at it and over time and as you progress closer towards your vision, you might find that some of the images or pictures on your vision board don't really carry as much emotional impact on you as they did before. When this happens, you'll want to update your vision board with new fresh images that do inspire you. You're vision board is not a finished piece of art after its initial creation. It's a dynamic piece of art that shifts and changes as your vision shifts and changes. Therefore, if you find your level of passion that your vision board gives you is growing weaker, then update it to bring fresh new emotions to it.

Celebrity Examples of the Law of Attraction

Here are three examples of famous people who have used the techniques of visualization to activate the law of attraction in their lives. Although not all of them specifically used vision boards to get what they wanted, the applications that they used were similar in function.

John Assaraf's Vision Board.

Successful entrepreneur and author, John Assaraf, brought the age-old concept of a vision board to the mainstream public by relating his story of it in the motivational documentary, The Secret. In May of 2000, John was working in his home office inside his beautiful new home in Southern California when his five-year old son came in and asked him what were in the dusty boxes in the corner of his home office. John told him that it contained his vision boards. His son didn't understand what they were, so John opened one of the boxes to show him. When John pulled out the second board from the box, he began to cry. On it was a picture of a 7000 square foot house on top of six acres of spectacular land that he had seen and cut out from Dream Homes magazine in 1995. It was the exact house that he had just purchased several weeks prior—A sure testament to the law of attraction at work.

Bruce Lee's Letter.

The late martial arts legend and my own personal role-model, Bruce Lee, understood the power of the law of attraction. As a struggling entrepreneur and actor, Bruce sat down one day and wrote the following letter to himself: “By 1980, I will be the best known oriental movie star in the United States and will have secured $10 million dollars… And in return, I will give the very best acting I could possibly give every single time I am in front of the camera and I will live in peace and harmony.” In 1973, months after Bruce's untimely death, the blockbuster movie Enter the Dragon was released in both the United States and China, elevating Bruce to the level of an international star. According to Jack Canfield, that very letter that Bruce wrote to himself is hanging up on one of the walls at Planet Hollywood in New York City.(8)

Jim Carrey's Check.

As a struggling young comedian trying to make it in the make or break city of Hollywood, Jim Carrey was just about ready to give up his dream of becoming a professional actor and comedian. He had just performed at an open mic session at one of the nightclubs in Los Angeles and had been booed off the stage by his audience. He sat by himself at the top of Mulholand Drive and looked out at the city below him—the city that held his future success or failure. He then pulled out his check book and wrote himself a check for $10 million dollars, post dated it for Thanksgiving 1995 and made a note on it: “for acting services rendered.” He then carried that check with him in his wallet everywhere he went from that day forward. By 1995, after the success of his blockbuster movies: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dumb and Dumber, and The Mask, his contract price had risen to $20 million dollars.


Vision boards are an important tool in your success tool box. They are cheap to make and their potential value to you is immeasurable. Figure out what you want in your life and then commit yourself 100% towards making that first step of creating your vision board and activating the law of attraction to pull your dreams into reality.


1. The Secret. Byrne, Rhonda. DVD. TS Production, LLC. 2006.

2. The Law of Attraction. Webring, Inc. 2007. Law of Attraction Info. Accessed on February 22, 2007 by

3. Henion, Jim. Why Goal Setting Works. Accessed on February 22, 2007 by

4. Wikipedia. Reticular Activating System. Accessed on February 23, 2007 by

5. Delio, Michelle. “This is Your Computer on Brains.” Wired News. Nov. 19, 2002. Retrieved February 11, 2006, from,1377,56459,00.html.

6. Vision Boards. Wikipedia. Accessed on February 23, 2007 by

7. Tracy, Brian. Goals: How to Get Everything you Want—Faster Than you Ever Thought Possible. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler. 2003.

8. Canfield, Jack. The Success Principles. New York: HarperCollins. 2005.

Copyright © 2007 Tristan Loo. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.


About The Author

TRISTAN LOO is a leading authority on human potential and personal effectiveness. As an author, speaker and trainer, Tristan has inspired thousands of people with his passionate message of overcoming adversity and creating the ultimate life that they desire. Visit Tristan's website at or contact at: info @


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