Just a note... This has gone through a number of edits, so if you have read part of this before, you might want to re-read it from start to finish! (Just an idea!)
Grab a hold of your Levis, ‘cause I’m about to knock your socks off.
(That, or maybe I might say something you haven’t heard before. One of the two.)
Did you make your list of 101 wants? Good. You’ll be glad you did.
(If you didn’t, I’ll wait while you go grab a spiral or a legal pad. You know, just in case you start thinking of things. OH, and if you haven’t made you list, maybe you can go back and read the blog posted just before this one: RESULTS SHOW.
Ok. Now on with the, uh… show.
(Show, blog… Tomato, tomahtoe…)
I am going to answer some big questions in this blog. (Not that you asked them, but when I answer them, you might just say, “Yeah! Why IS that??”)
Here are some questions that I am about to give you the answers to:
1. How is it that sometimes things fall into place, like when the perfect situation just falls into my lap when I least expect it?
2. Why is it that I can want, want, want, want something so very badly and want it some more… And yet it still doesn’t come true? Like the forces are against me?
3. Why is it that the jackass at the office gets everything he wants, has lots of money and an awesome life, while I am a good and decent person and my life sucks?
4. How am I supposed to accomplish my big goal/s that seem/s totally impossible and I have absolutely NO clue of how I could possibly accomplish it/them?
5. How do I get what I want out of life when I know I can’t have it?
6. Why is there so much crap about “thinking big” and “being positive”, when I know perfectly well that the universe does not “re-arrange itself” to give me what I want, just because I “manifest” it by thinking about it constantly, like all this “Secret” bullshit.
7. Why is it that I can try to do something, I have a goal in my life, and yet as much as I try, I fail over and over? It's like no matter what I do, I don't get what I want. The same crap keeps happening, my plans get screwed up, and things never go the way I want them to.
8. When is someone going to give me practical advice on how to get what I want, and a realistic explanation as to how to make that happen, and it isn’t punctuated with “Well, you gotta work hard at it!” because my life is damn well hard enough, and I really want to start getting what I deserve out of life, or I’m going to friggin’ snap.
So, are we on the same page? Good. Then maybe I have your attention. I’ll jump right in.
Ok, at first the above list was simply bulleted, but numbering them allows me to reference them more easily… Let’s talk about #8 for a minute. (The answer to #8? ''Today, and by the end of this blog''.)
There is a lot of talk about The Law of Attraction. Positive Thinking. Manifesting. Intending. All that… Now, I’m a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of person (really, I am!) and I am open to about anything. But when I heard about the universe opening up to rearrange itself for MY wants and dreams? Well…
…let’s just say that it seemed a little far fetched to me.
Not that it’s not the case, mind you. I haven’t talked much about my Theory of Touch, so you don’t know that I strongly believe in energy and the benefits of healthy, strong, positive energy… But the whole flippin’ universe rearranging just to suit my whim?
No, it still seems far fetched.
BUT, the good news is I figured out how it happens. Well… How it appears to happen anyway. Ok, how it is that when something is on your mind, it happens in your life. Yep, I figured it out. And it’s nothing like magic. More like, well… neuroscience.
This is how it works.
We have a conscious and a sub-conscious. (Actually more than that, but I’ve been working on not over-complicating things…!) Let’s agree that your subconscious is working all the time, and your conscious is something that you can “drive”, although you might choose to drive it in the direction of what you feel, based on what your subconscious is telling you. Ok? Ok.
If you don’t believe the subconscious stuff, look at it this way… Everyone knows you don’t have to think to breathe. Although you can consciously hold your breath, or you can breathe more quickly. Either way, it happens, even if you don’t think about it. Then there is your heart. Your vision. Your hearing. These are things that take information in, or operate on their own, whether you like it or not. Does the heart beat on its own without the brain? No. If you are brain-dead, can you see? No. Your brain does these things on your behalf because that is a part of what it does. So the process of bringing in that information, and making the parts of the body function, that is completely subconscious, and without your control. (Well, there may be an extreme exception here and there, but you get my drift.)
The brain does more than a couple things, but here are two: It makes the body work, and it solves problems.
Two things that your brain does are: making your body work, and solving problems.
(Yeah, no… That wasn’t a typo. I wanted you to read it twice. It’s important.)
So your brain (...my brain, everyone's brain....) does those two things, right? Well, an unfortunate thing about the fact that it's all so streamlined is that we sort of take it all for granted. What I mean, is that we don't think about what we are putting into it.
The IT world has a saying.... "Garbage in, garbage out." If you put crap code into a computer, what you get is not going to work properly. Apply that to all sorts of things... But here, I'm applying it to our brains. We are using them 24 hours a day, every partial second that we are alive, and we don't think much about what it's doing in there, or how we could be screwing up the whole process for ourselves as a result.
Give your car watered-down gas long enough and it may run ok for a while, but eventually it will cause you some problems. That is where we are in life right this minute. (Well, many of us. I have a feeling those of us who are 100% happy with life are not reading about how to make it better, but that's another story.) We've been feeding our brains so much CRAP that now we are paying the price. Work with me, it does come together...
Ok, moving down the road a minute... So our brain has these two goals, to run the body and solve problems, and it also has to basic awareness levels: conscious and subconscious. But what the hell does all this have to do with the asshole at the office who gets everything he wants, while we, good and decent people are left to suffer?
I could tell you that he knows The Secret... But I don't want to bullshit you. I will tell you that he might be a very positive, optimistic person who has a really great energy, and that everyone he meets is so blis... Wait. Wrong guy. We were talking about the asshole? Sorry, I forgot. Yeah, the guy that gets everything great in life and more. Yeah, he's not positive, and he's not nice. As for the Secret, he wouldn't watch it if you paid him. (Frankly, he doesn't need to.) He is an arrogant jerk. He thinks his crap does not stink. He thinks he is the best at what he does. He thinks that he is perfect.
And you are starting to wonder. Why? Because he drives a Lexus, has a hot wife, lives in a mansion, and loves his life. He makes the money, he gets respect (why, you can't understand) and you are wondering if God hates you or something.
Truth? He is perfect. In his mind, he is perfect. See, the guy who is so positive, and the guy who is so arrogant are doing the same thing. They are thinking the right way. They believe that they can have it all. (This is the answer to number 3. Ok, sounds little vague, but that is the answer, and the details are coming!)
Back to the science stuff. (Theoretical as it might be.)
Because our brains are geared to solve problems, it takes what we give it and "works on it". (Hey, this is how I put it.) Think about all the "problems" you give your brain. Now, I'm not talking about the how-do-I-pay-off-my-credit-card type of problems. Not even the what-am-I-cooking-for-dinner? kind of problems. It's each time you open the fridge door looking for a bottle of water. Your brain is charged with the task for locating a bottle of water. AND... it does this by utilizing the data it has access to.
Yep. Your senses.
The brain uses data coming in from your senses to solve "problems". (If you have to know why I refer to what you see, hear, etc as "data", then comment or email me and I'll send you the four paragraphs on data and senses that I just deleted.) And because the brain has a goal of making the body function, when we tell the brain something, it is its job to do it. Our conscious tells our brain what to do. (We have control over it.) Our subconscious tells our brain things too, but when we aren't listening, and I'll get to that in a minute.
When I open the fridge looking for a bottle of water, the brain has its goal. Find that thingie that looks sorta clear, and it has a wrapper and a flat, white lid, and there is green and blue on the wrapper and the bottle is about 6" tall. And then it...
What's that you say, my dear blog reader? You drink water from a blue bottle? Oh. And it has a spout, not a flat lid? Oh... And there is no green on the label? Oh! Ok. Good to know. I'll remember that for later...
...so, my brain looks for the clear bottle with a green and blue wrapper and WHABAM!!! My eyes take in data, seeing the colors blue and green, and the rest of the things which fit that description, and I have my water.
Oops... This one is open. And it has floaties in it. Yuck. Well, I guess I should have been more specific when I told my brain what to look for. But MAN it found it quickly.
Ever notice that when you want a certain car, you see it everywhere? Or if you are beginning to date someone, and you see THEIR type of car everywhere? Well, you have told your brain to work on that, so it does. Even when you aren't paying attention to what your brain is doing. (It can do that, you know.)
(Hey, I'm about to answer question #1 if you are interested...)
When you put your mind to a task, it works on that task incessantly, even when you don't know that it's working on it. That's the answer to how the whole "back burner" process happens, not to mention (short) answer to #4. (That's not too amazing, but I'm about to tell you something pretty cool about that...) Remember your conscious and subconscious? Well, your subconscious is taking in data all the time, too. Even if you don't need to do anything with it. It's at a different level, because your brain isn't' working on a task for it, but data is stored. Not everything, but much of it. So, a really incredible thing is when you put your mind to the task of doing something, and then your subconscious gets with your brain and makes it all work out. It might go a little like this...
"Hmmm.... Ok, looking for a dustpan, lookin for a dustpan... Hmmm... nothing here...? Crud. Oh well, keep looking, doo-ti-doo.."
"Hey, Consc, whatcha doin'?"
"Oh hey, Sub... Lorin told me to look for a dustpan, so I'm lookin for a dustpan."
"Oh. Uh, why, Connie?"
"I dunno. Hey, Sub... Have you seen a dustpan anywhere?"
"Yeah, but it's gone now."
"How did it disappear, Sub?"
"How the hell should I know? I just took in the info."
"Hey, Connie, did you notice when-- HEY! LOOK ALIVE, Conscious! She's talking!"
Lorin: (That's me, by the way...) "If I don't find that dustpan, I can't get that pile of crap off the floor! Ugh!! There has to be a way!"
"Hey, Connie, looks like you know why you're looking for the dustpan now!"
"Even better, Sub! Now I know WHY! Hmmm... Something to pick up the stuff... pick up the stuff... pickup the--"
"Hey! I was talking before! Like I was saying, did you see that metal sign in the garage? I love that metal sign because it's nice and flat and--"
"Uh, Sub, did you say a 'flat metal sign'? I think I might be able to solve this problem after all!"
Lorin: "WAIT! I have that sign in the garage... I can use it, and that's even better, because it's bigger and can get it all at one time! COOL!"
"Hey, Sub... High five dude."
"Yeah, Connie...! You rock!"
Your subconscious takes in data all the time, and feeds it to your conscious wants and needs. When there is something that you want, and yet you aren't trying to get it, sometimes things fall into your lap. This is one way that this happens. But does this mean that when we want something we don't have to do anything about it? Let me ask you this: What if I knew about the sign, but decided not to go into the garage to get it? That is my conscious decision to go against what has been presented to me. And, of course, it leaves me with a nagging feeling that "I just KNEW I should have... "(fill in the blank.)
Ok, questions #5 and #2 are sort of the same, just used in different contexts. (This is cool, actually.)
"Sounds great and all, if I want something, put my mind to the task and it finds the way... But some things are just impossible.
There is something I want, and I can't have it."
Well, you are right. You can't. You nailed the nail on the head. You can want something until the end of time, and if you can't have it, then you can't.
(This is actually really important stuff, so I hope you are ready for it. If not, I will wait while you go get some water or make a sandwich or something.)
Know why you are right, that you can't have something just because you want it? Because when you tell your brain "but I can't..." you have told your brain that it doesn't need to work on that any more. It's a relief, actually. (And unfortunately, because you are the one who suffers, not your brain.)
Yep, you are giving your brain a break in the wrong places, putting it to task on things it doesn't need to be on. When you say "but I can't" it is essentially giving your brain a break from solving that problem. You see, you have a lot of things to work on. If it knows that it doesn't have to work on something, then it thanks you.
You can look at it like this... Women: When you are stressed about a relationship, that's on your mind all the time, right? Not a lot of room for other stuff. Men, when you have something bothering you, you consciously shift your thinking to work, which crowds out thinking about emotional stuff. You see, your brain thinks about what you let it think about. It can run amok if you let it!
Here's the thing: It doesn't care whether you tell it to find the nearest trash can, or tell it to find the cure for cancer. It's a task. And to your brain, a request to do a task is just another task. Tell it to find it, and put it on the back burner. The brain is on the look out for "opportunities" to meet the need, while the subconscious searches its memory bank. But what you tell your brain to find is important, because it affects what it looks for. It can only find what it looks for. If it is looking for good things, it is less likely to worry about bad things, because it keeps looking for something good. It says "Is this good? Is this good? No? Then moving on... Is this good? Is this good?" But switch that around when you are feeling negative... "Is this bad? Is this bad? No, it';s good? well, then let's keep looking for something bad. What about this, is this bad? what about this? Something else good? Damn. Still need to find something bad..." (This, my friend, is the answer to #6... Why it is important to think positive, and why thinking negatively will screw up your life.)
There is another part to this. (Sorry...) It's How your active, searching brain locates what its looking for from a visual standpoint.
When you tell your brain that you want or need something, it forms a picture of what you are looking for, based on past experiences. (Both conscious and subconscious.) The conscious memories are there, but your conscious have the power to say... "Not so fast!"
For instance, that bottle of water in the fridge? If your subconscious pictures a bottle of water as the clear-ish bottle with a blue and green label and a flat white top, that is the first thing your mind looks for. But when your eyes take in the data of a blue bottle with a spout, it looks back into your memory bank and remembers that this is ALSO a bottle of water, so it has the ability to re-direct. The goal is to find a bottle of water, not a clearish bottle with a green and blue label and a flat white top. Tell your mind to look for just that kind of bottle without telling it the real goal, and it is more likely to overlook the blue bottle.
This is why your mind finds what it goes looking for, and it is the answer to #7. This is what it looks like in the real world, when you ar not searching for water in the fridge...
You have a plan. You want to do something. You want to leave your job, because you don't like it there anymore. It pays the bills, and leaving means you have to find a different job before you leave this one so you don't become homeless. On top of that, you have a bunch of stuff at your current job that you are responsible for. As great as it would be to say "See ya!" if you do that, you will be black-listed in the industry for leaving your previous job high and dry. So just walking out is not an option. But every day you are there, you think about how much you hate it. There are things you like, people you like, customers you like... But all in all, you just want out, without losing the things you love about being there.
So, in your old frame of mind, you think about getting a new job. What does "a new job" look like in your mind? Doing the same thing as this one, but without the demon boss from hell, who treats you like you don't know what you are doing; impossibly impossible expectations that no one could accomplish, and yet you are being held accountable, although you don't have any control over how the tasks are performed, the 24/7, back-breaking work that you do without uttering a complaint, but is met with a complete lack of appreciation, gratitude or any resemblance of respect, and the argumentative complaints and covert insults from the new kid, who you know for a fact is not old enough to legally drink.
Other than that, doing pretty much the same thing. Just... somewhere else. (And maybe even a step up.)
But as I mentioned, you can't leave your job, right? Leaving means walking away from a task list that could not be completed in 1,000 lifetimes. A transition would be next to impossible because you have no control over how things are done around there, so you can't streamline the process, let alone delegate jack-squat. If you did get up the mustard to get out, it means passing on your duties to an incompetent jerk, who will just tell your old friends how you left a lot of stuff screwed up. Don't forget that asshole of a boss who will never give you a good reference, because for one, he is an asshole. Oh yeah... The incompetent teenager will get not only a promotion, but employee of the year for picking up where you left off.
(Ok, now I see why you can't leave.)
Wait... is it possible that there are other options? Is it possible that if our minds are given the task of finding the way, a way will appear? If you "know" there is absolutely no way, there is not a way, so why look for one, right? But if you are open to new ideas... What might happen? Just MIGHT happen??
Looking for parts, you happen into a section of CraigsList, and find a "looking for work" post for professional organizers for $20/hour. You get an idea. You post an ad looking for a part-time, after-hours data-entry person help this weekend, at $10/hour for 5 hours, entering into Excel invoice numbers, with the invoice amount and the amount paid. You are a smart cookie, so you can do an easy formula in the next cell, to show how much is still owed. For 50 bucks, you now have a dynamic list, because you can pull up the accounting contact's name by invoice number, and the amount that they owe is right there in the spreadsheet! By the end of the week you are caught up... But that's not all...!
By Wednesday, your boss is so impressed that you have been collecting so much money, not realizing that it is to clear your desk to find another job, that he starts being cooler to you. "That's nice, and all", you think, as you keep working.
In calling all these people, you are talking to a lot more people than normal. You are feeling good about kicking ass and taking names, so you are more confident in your conversations. Your contacts notice and respond with kind words, making you feel even better. Some of your clients are out, so you talk to whomever is available, just in case they can help get the invoice paid. More than once you happen to talk to the head of the department. They all like you. One or more suggests that you might be a good addition to their company. "Funny," you think... "And I haven't even started to look for a job yet!" You tell the big boss that you appreciate that, you take his number and tell him you will call him later. (And you do.)
Friday afternoon you cut out a half-day early since you have collected more money than the rest of the department combined. So you give your Big Boss buddy a call. He's wrapping up, suggests that y'all meet for coffee or beer, and you do. Three hours later, you have an interview scheduled for 10:am on Tuesday.
Your boss can't tell you not to go to your early "lunch" on Tuesday, because you did so much last week. And the kid who is always after you is more than willing to "cover for you", thinking that he is looking great, when in fact he looks like crap in your shoes. After the Tuesday interview, you are about 80% sure you got the job, but you keep working the one you have, the way you are now, and you get more positive comments from clients. You start a running list of companies that you think you would like to work for, and who you think can pull some strings for you.
You get the job, the work is done, the kid can't compare, you don't need the boss's reference anyway, and as it is, he changed his mind abot you...
Seems like leaving that job isn't impossible after all.
Sounds like a stretch? Think of it this way...
In this example, you saw a job wanted ad on CL. But what if you saw a used copy of quickbooks at the thrift store? What if you thought of a friend of yours would could pay off a loan you gave them? What if your unkle asked you if you knew of someone who could work for him, and there was someone at his company that could take your spot? What if you learned your boss was about to gett fired? What if your company closed its doors and you considered opening your own? What if you saw an ad for a grant for school tuition? What if you had the chance to go on vacation at the last minute? What if.. If, if, if...?
It could be anything at all. You see? Your subconscious remembers things and brings it to your conscious. and/or your conscious looks for a way out. Need to make some new friends? Well, didn't you see people at the bookstore with "meetup" name tags? Want to reduce your living expenses? Catching you eye is the ad for someone to live, rent-free, with an elderly man needing just a little bit of help while you rent your house out for the summer. A way to get free rent, have rental income on your property, and part-time income, to boot! Need a job? Hmm... Is that a job circular at the Kroger kiosk? Well, there might not be anything in there, but then again, there might be! The problem with "...but I can't" is that it closes the door to what you want. I have another idea...
"To [insert want here] is what I want. I have an open mind, so the 'how' will come to me."
It's simple, and works for things you want to have, be or do. There is not timeframe to it (which is contrary to many goal-setting techniques), so there is no pressure to "do the impossible" by a certain time. After all, if it seems impossible at all, what makes it seem possible in a certain time frame? It turns what can be uncomfortable into downright scary. This sentence also works, because it empowers the individual. When an idea comes along, it's still just an idea. It's up to that person to do something about it.
That is the how. Your mind is just your mind. Your thoughts are not things, they do not creat things out of thin air. Your mind does not make things magically appear. BUT.. Your mind shows you the path, and it is up to you to take it. If you don't, then no matter how positively you think, no matter how much you want, or how many books you read... You have to actaully take action on something that comes to you in order to get where you are going. The wonderful thing is that when you think in a positive way, you are not anticipating that something bad will happen, so when you see the result of your action, you see the positive result. Taking the first step to action is the hardest part for people who swim in negativity, because they expect that despite their efforts, they will still fail. It is when they believe that they will succeed that they really will.
Trust me on this. I've been on both ends of this. The failin end, and the einning end. I like winning a lot better!
The reason the following affirmation works is that you are telling your brain what to expect. No harm, NO HARM can come of that. it's simply not possible.
Put it on a card, stick it in your car, on your mirror, your wallet, anywhere you want. Want to be discreet? Ok! Just do it and re-read it to yourself often. It's important to you and those you love, because you need to give those aroudn you the best "you" that you have to offer. You have to ba a happy person to do that. Trust me, you want to be on the winning end of life.
Repeat after me... "To [insert want here] is what I want. I have an open mind, so the 'how' will come to me."
Now, go get them, tiger!
This past fall, Context held its annual convention. According to Jim Hines, who has long taken a hard line on harassment at conventions: *From...public in...