02/24/2014 04:11 pm ET Updated Apr 26, 2014

Avoid Mental Masturbation: 5 Tips From Uber-Successful Entrepreneurs

I have had the honor and privilege to work with diplomats, members of royal families, Fortune 100 CEOs, world class athletes, best selling authors and healers. Participating in their rise toward fame and success has brought me many wonderful lessons about achievement and fulfillment. I was recently asked by a group of business students to comment. Here's what came out of that conversation.

One key observation that sticks with me everywhere I go and with every person I meet is this: The way we see ourselves determines what we experience in our lives.

Our inner identity and internal belief systems shape our perceptions and behaviors. So if you want to change what you see on the outside, you must change your perceptual filters from the inside.

Most religions and spiritual traditions tell us that our bliss comes from within and that the kingdom of Heaven lies within. As Neville Goddard so passionately taught, we can access that inner kingdom through our imagination at any time. For most of us, however, we don't regularly follow our instincts. We don't allow ourselves to dream up new possibilities for our lives. We fall into habitual patterns of seeking solutions from the outside.

My work involves researching and presenting solutions for life enhancement and spiritual development. I like systems. I like having a plan to follow that keeps me focused -- read that as keeps my silly, petty ego-mind quiet for a bit -- to allow the quiet voice of my Soul to be heard. Systems have actually allowed me and so many of my "successful" clients to achieve enormous breakthroughs in life and business when our Soul, angels, guides and God could reach us.

Here are a few of the systematic pearls of wisdom that empower us.

1. Commit to going within
Some of the more junior entrepreneurs have a hard time grasping how important it is to have systems in place. Sometimes success happens by luck or accident... like finding the right product at the right time and having the right influencer pick it up. For sustained success over time you must be committed to your own personal development and sometimes this involves deep level transformations of your thinking and your self concept. Meditation and self-inquiry are the methods, the systems, that help me the most. What about you? One of my HuffPost compatriots, Dr. Cara Barker, shared some wonderful guidelines for accessing creativity here.

2. There is no such thing as failure
Looking at your flaws and "failures" as opportunities for learning and feedback on your road to success is empowering. By honestly examining what regularly and routinely holds you back from achieving your goals -- be they large life-transforming goals or miniscule mundane tasks -- you gain access to enormous power.

3. Stop comparing yourself to others.
The personal choices we make, the sacrifices we make, in business and in life which lead to success cannot be judged by anyone outside of ourselves. It is not only useless to compare your present "success" level to anyone else's, it is also just plain dumb. I've rescued more people who were stuck in the comparison trap than you would ever believe. It wasn't that they didn't have talent, didn't have a revolutionary business idea nor were they intellectually inferior. They were simply stuck comparing their bank account, level of notoriety, or wardrobe with their supposed competitors. This robbed them of confidence and creativity, leaving their God-given gifts to sit on the shelf gathering dust.

4. Fulfillment from sharing yourself
Most importantly, the next generation could benefit from knowing that personal fulfillment and happiness doesn't come from the achievement itself. As we learned last year at the Third Metric: Redefining Success conference with Arianna Huffington, you will feel most fulfilled knowing that your talents, strengths and experiences are being used to make the world a better place. You will feel immense joy knowing that you matter, you are important to the successful progression of life.

5. How to avoid mental masturbation
My creative genius clients find that having proven and trusted systems in place allow them to continue to be the visionary thinkers and dreamers that they love being, they get to stay true to their nature, while still getting things done. Being a visionary without a team or system of implementation leads to what I call mental masturbation. The endless streams of fantasies and creative visions that never lead to the birth of physical success eventually leads to frustration.

About the author:

Dr. Andrea Pennington is a respected Mind-Body Medicine physician, acupuncturist and author. She blends traditional medicine with acupuncture, spiritual direction & empowerment coaching. Featured twice on the Oprah Winfrey Show she is recognized as a medical-wellness expert who teaches how to live with increased vitality & purpose.

A highly sought-after television industry professional, medical journalist and author with 20+ years experience in television production, management, advertising and media distribution. She is currently the voice of luxury on Luxe TV, heard in over 100 countries around the world. Dr. Andrea served as the Medical Director and Spokesperson for Discovery Health Channel and Discovery Health Online and has been seen on Dr. Oz, CNN, Fox News, the Today Show, the Early Show - CBS, and many more national television programs.

She is a professor at the International University of Monaco.
Visit her online at and