The Harder and the Easier Way
Most people think in order to reach your goals you need to be obsessed with your goal, work all day and all night, and never give up. That is the hard way to achieve your goals. In his book Attractor Factor, Joe Vitale writes about how there is an easier way. Notice I didn’t say easy way; I said “EASIER” way. The easier way is to be grateful for what you already have, decide what you would like to have, focus your thoughts on it, feel good about it and act like you have it already, and then act on the promptings you get. You can’t just believe in something and then eat ice-cream on the couch while you wait for it to appear.
The easier way involves the Law of Attraction. God is a creator and it seems like He wants us to create. Why else would the Bible teach, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” “Whatever a man soweth, that shall he reap.” Jesus taught, “Ask and ye shall receive. Seek and ye shall find. Knock and it shall be opened unto you.” Much like with our dreams and fantasies, we should use the Law of Attraction for what our higher Self wants instead of our ego.
Video: The Secret (Get this one yourself J)
Look around you. Everything you see (except nature) was once just a thought in someone’s mind. Building the Twin Towers was once just an idea in someone’s head. Destroying the Twin Towers was also once just an idea in someone’s head.
This is an area that I do not pretend to understand exactly how it works. But I do know that it works. Something almost magical happens when you know what you want and believe it is going to happen. I have seen it work over and over in my life.
Here is my disclaimer: The Law of Attraction works unless there is a different law superseding it. Everyone knows metal doesn’t float. But when the laws of lift and thrust are applied, the law of gravity is superseded. Just because the law of attraction doesn’t work all the time, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. When a farmer plants a crop, and a flood or drought wipes it out. He doesn’t say “Well, I guess the law of the harvest is a bunch of baloney”. No! He knows the law is a true principle. But that doesn’t mean it works every time. Sometimes you plant your seeds and don’t get a harvest. The farmer knows if he is patient and plants again, eventually he will have a harvest.
Another principle to keep in mind is if God wants something to happen (or not happen) in your life, it’s going to happen. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much believing and positive thinking you do. God is more interested in changing you than in changing your circumstances.
Your job is not to say how and when. Your job is to know what you want, expect it to appear, take inspired action, and enjoy the process. If you are not having fun…. you are doing it wrong. We do have some control over what happens in our life, but we don’t have complete control. But we are also not just the reader of our fairy tale. We are a co-author and co-creator. We don’t get to choose who our character is in the play, but we do get to choose how we play it. We are all self-made. Only the successful will admit it. The truth is, you write your own destiny through the choices you make every day. If your life is awesome, it’s your fault. If your life is boring, it’s your fault.
“I do not have control over everything that happens. But I am deeply loved by Him who does.”
Resign as General Manager of the Universe
“I once asked the Lord why so many people are confused. He said “Tell them to stop trying to figure everything out, and they will stop being confused.”
-Neal Donald Walsh
Do you think you can take over the universe and make it better? Our egos cannot see the big picture. Trying to comprehend God is like trying to explain the internet to an ant. The ant doesn’t have the capacity to understand it. In the same way, we don’t have the ability to understand why God does what God does. Things often don’t turn out how we thought they would, or hoped they would. There is an old Eastern proverb that says if you want God to laugh, tell Him what your life will look like in 10 years. Let go of the way you think life should be. Life should not “be” a certain way when you are 25, 35, 45, or 75. Remain open to everything that appears. Your life becomes worse when you insist on it being the way you think it should be.
You are not in charge of everything, you never have been, and you never will be. We trust God with the little things. If it is something we don’t really care about we are more than willing to trust God. But if it’s something really, really important to us, we worry and stress out about it. We need to trust him with the huge things too. “It takes great learning to understand that all things, events, encounters, circumstances are helpful.”- Course in Miracles
Be patient with God and with yourself. God’s timetable is rarely the same as ours. We are often in a hurry, when God is not. Was Jesus ever rushing around, stressed out, worried that he wasn’t going to get everything done? I can’t imagine Jesus doing that, and there definitely isn’t any indication of that in the scriptures. When Lazarus died, Jesus waited for several days before he traveled to see him. You may feel frustrated with the seemingly slow progress you’re making in life, but He will use your entire lifetime. Trust that the universe and your life are unfolding exactly as they should. Even though things may not always look the way you want them to look. He meets our needs over and over again. He may not always do what we would like, but He does do the right thing. He may not be early, but He is never late. God always acts in your best interests even if it is painful and you don’t understand it.
Acceptance and Patience
“I’m not what I could be, I’m not what I should be, but thank God I’m not what I used to be.”
Pain is one of Gods greatest gifts. Learn to live with pain; not being crushed by it. Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. If you are a parent, would you take away the pain your children have experienced if you could? You would also take away the learning. Growth happens from the hard times. There is not much growth going on when things are easy. Deep down we all know life was never intended to be easy. If life was easy… it wouldn’t be hard. In fact, if the road you’re traveling is always easy, you’re likely going the wrong way.
Confusion is NOT being unsure what to do next. Confusion is not knowing what to do next, and not being OK with that. The opposite of yes is not no. The opposite of yes is being in control of what happens. There is really only one worry, the worry of not being in full control of what will happen and not trusting ourselves to handle what happens to us. Stop rushing things that aren’t meant to be rushed. If you are going to rush to do something, Rush being patient. Be quick, but not in a hurry. Make haste slowly.
Learn to live with flexibility. Palm trees survive 200 mph winds because they are flexible. Hard times will come. They will come by the truckload. The way to keep from breaking is by bending. Remember that no storm can last forever. Welcome all experiences. You don’t know which one is going to turn everything around. Don’t put up a wall. The same wall that keeps out disappointments will keep out happiness. You never know what will lead you to your goal.
Be patient with yourself and with your life. We all want to change overnight. Allow God to change you in his own time. God changes us little by little. Great things have no fear of time. It takes a while to build a great building or to build a great business. Why do we think it doesn’t take time for us to become a great person? Wayne Dyer says that “Infinite patience brings immediate results.” What that means to me is that when we know something will happen, we don’t need to worry about it anymore. That attitude actually allows what we want to appear faster. Worrying and begging will block what we want from appearing. Patience is not about just waiting; it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard for what you believe in.
Assume you are in the exact place you needed to be. Either you had to learn a lesson or your choices were the best you could make at the time. Everything is exactly how it is supposed to be. How can we know that is true? Well, the fact that everything is exactly how it is, is proof enough. Either God knows what He is doing, or He doesn’t. In one of my coworker’s offices there is a sign hanging up that says, “It is what it is”. You can’t really argue with that one. It may not be how we would like it to be, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is what it is. Does that mean that we just accept how things are and leave everything how it is? No, of course not! We should try to make the world the best place we can. But this should come out of acceptance. You can love and accept the world how it is and still strive for your vision of what is possible.
“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”
The Present Moment
“Don’t let a crazy world tell you success is anything other than a successful moment.”
Your power is in the present moment. Most people spend 80-90% of their time living in the past or future. They idolize the past, complain about the present, and fear the future. When you live in the past you become depressed. When you live in the future, you become anxious. Try learning from the past, living in the present, and being excited for the future. You should experience your life right now, not the life that you wish you had.
We don’t suffer because of what happens. We suffer because of our thoughts about what happens. Reality is neither good nor bad. Only our thoughts make it good or bad. There is no yesterday to remember and there is no future to worry over. It is only today that exists. Today is the best day of your life. That’s because it’s the only day of your life. Memories of the past aren’t “real”. They are your interpretation of what happened. You can change your interpretation any time. You don’t remember everything and you don’t remember anything perfectly. Just ask your brothers and sisters. They all remember growing up a lot differently than you do.
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your thinking. You can look at the past in two ways: as a school that you learn from or as a club to beat yourself up with. “No one needs to be a victim of their own biography” George Kelly. The past does not equal the future. Just because you failed over and over, does not mean you will fail this time.
Meditation is a great practice to become more present. Meditating is being aware of your breath to calm and slow down your mind. Even just 5 minutes a day of meditating can have a significant impact in your life. You don’t have to go to Tibet to meditate. Just take 5 or 10 minutes and focus on your breathing. When you have a thought come in, just let it go.
Two of my favorite guided meditations:
Peace is the best indicator to know whether you are on the right track or not. If you do not feel peace about what you are doing, you are not on the right track. If you are thinking about doing something, and don’t feel peaceful about it, don’t do it. People seem surprised that things didn’t work out, when they didn’t feel peaceful about the decision when they made it. On the other hand, I have felt really peaceful about decisions that didn’t “seem” to work out. You don’t have complete control of whether things work out or not. Just because something didn’t work out, it doesn’t mean you weren’t supposed to do it.
Let inner peace be the true judge of your success. Relax. Let go of the need to figure everything out. Your life’s purpose is safe inside you right now. You don’t need to struggle to find it. Let go of the need to do something or to be different. Nothing in life happens “to” us. It happens “for” us. At least I think it does for people who are trying to do the right thing.
The end result should not justify the road you take to accomplish your goal. What if you start a business, and are stressed out all the time, work 100 hours a week for three years, never see your family, and then finally reach your goal. Were you successful? At what cost? You have damaged your relationships, damaged your health, and who knows what else. You are only successful if the whole process you went through was successful. Was it worth it? A lot of people who become “successful” look back and know that the price they paid was not worth it.
Make peace, or God be your goal. Wayne Dyer teaches to say, “I can choose peace rather than this”. Choosing peace is always an option no matter what is going on in your life. Being at peace doesn’t mean you don’t have difficulties and hard work in your life. Peace is having those things happen in your life and still being calm.