In the presence of many difficulties on many fronts, it's essential for us to remember just how important it is to keep a positive vision of our future. I always remember in Viktor Frankl's classic book, Man's Search for Meaning, he documented how those who survived the Holocaust were people who envisioned that they had something significant left to contribute. Over the years, I've witnessed and experienced how this positive belief works. I've been fortunate to know some courageous souls, who have transcended seemingly impossible obstacles to achieve and contribute in ways others never believed they could. Blessings flow! I also admit, I personally was influenced by Joel Barker's video, THE POWER of VISION video. There is an inspiring video clipfrom the film at the Global Dialogue Center Knowledge Galleryexhibit on Viktor Frankl.
Also, in most of the wisdom traditions, I've discovered that some version of this truth is taught in some way --- as we THINK, so we become. Our thoughts are powerful. What we occupy our minds with matters. This means the choices we make and the way we approach shaping our future, even from the worst of circumstances, can be greatly influenced by our thoughts.
It's often called the "Law of Attraction." My introduction to this principle came from a number of sources --- my mom, my spiritual practice, and my life. Two of my favorite writers on the subject were found by chance as they wrote in the first half of the 20th Century, long before me. They both carry wisdom and many fingerprints --- proving again that wisdom is knowledge with a long self-life, as friend and scholar told me once.
Earlier this year, I was again reminded about the Law of Attraction in a reading from one of my cherished books, Around the Year with Emmet Fox. Here is what it has to say about planting seeds through our thinking. Each year, when I read it again, its meaning is deepened:
"As soon as the subconscious mind accepts any idea, it immediately begins trying to put it into effect. It uses all its resources to that end. It uses every bit of knowledge that you have ever collected, most of which you have totally forgotten, to bring about its purpose. It mobilizes the many mental powers that you possess, most of which you never consciously use. It draws on the unlimited energy of the mind. It lines up all the laws of nature as they operate both inside and outside of you, to get its way.
Sometimes it succeeds in its purpose immediately. Sometimes it takes a little time, sometimes it takes a long time; but if the things is not utterly impossible, the subconscious will bring it about---once it accepts the idea.
The law is good for both good and bad ideas." What we think about does matter; think good thoughts.
Going After Your HEART's DESIRE...
You may be familiar with this process and not even know it. Have you ever had a "heart's desire"? --- one you had no way of fulfilling, but you were sure that you would?--- deep inside you knew you were going to get that job, marry that person, get into that school, have a life that was full and happy? All these realities began with a Thought. I've also experienced the result of negative thoughts too, haven't you?---when I've let my fear and disbelief take over, ever so subtly, leading to disappointments and sadness.
Claude Bristol, author of The Magic of Believing, tells how Theodore Simon Jouffroy, the French philosopher once said, "The Subconscious Mind will not take the trouble to work for those who do not believe in it." He goes on to give us the recipe that we have to think of ourselves as being successful---envisioning ourselves fulfilling our heart's desire:
"...it must be in the spirit that the work has already been done. ...while it is necessary for you to feel and think yourself successful, it is important for you to go one step further and actually see yourself as already success, either in the performance of some selected task or as actually occupying the position to which you are aspiring. For the next and final step, you must wait patiently while the subconscious is assimilating the elements of your problem and then goes about is own way to work it out for you."
Over the years, I found this process of positive thinking very productive in shaping the future --- it works for individuals, for communities, for nations, and the world too! Right now, with so many situations in crisis, we need to keep ourselves focused on a positive vision of our future. Let the reminder inspire you... My long time colleague, Joel Barker left a lasting impression when he said, "You can and should shape your future. If you don't someone else surely will." --- Joel A. Barker.
How about you? Are you willing to give it a try---to go one that step further?
founder, Global Dialogue Center
home of Women in the Lead
author, Putting Our Differences to Work
The Fastest Way to Innovation, Leadership, and High Performance
** 2010 Axiom Business Book Award Winner**
Bronze - Human Resources and Employee Training