Monday, March 19, 2007

Turning wishes into lemonade ~ by Bill Harris (Part Two)

You can probably see that sitting there visualizing lemonade without doing something about it is a belief in magic, and if that's all you do you're not going to get lemonade. Even if someone walks into the room just as you think of lemonade, and you ask them to get you some, you've still taken action. And, if by some coincidence you thought of lemonade and right then someone walked into the room and said, "I was wondering if you'd like some lemonade?" this is not happening because you thought about lemonade. A lot of magic-believers would like to think so, but you could sit there every day and think about lemonade, and it would be a long time before that method would work again.

Scientists have a name for this. It's called a coincidence.

People who believe in magic turn coincidences into evidence, but that doesn't make it so, and you can easily prove this to yourself by thinking of lemonade the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that, and finding out what happens. What will happen is that no lemonade will manifest the next day, or the next, or the next, unless you get up out of your chair and take action to find some.

How to find all the resources you need.

So the first thing that happens when you focus on getting something is that your mind generates ideas about how to get it, ideas about what actions you could take to get it. The second thing that happens is that you begin to notice resources you could use in getting what you want. You might notice people who could help you that you weren't noticing before. You might suddenly become aware of information, books, seminars, TV shows, or whatever, that previously you had not noticed. Perhaps you've had the experience of wanting to learn about something and going to a bookstore. Suddenly you see all
kinds books about the subject that you never noticed before, and would have just walked right by if you hadn't told your mind to notice them. Let's say you're driving down the street and you decide you want an Italian meal. If there are any Italian restaurants on that street, will you notice them? Of course. Would you have noticed them if you hadn't focused your attention on Italian food? Probably not.

When you focus your attention on something, your mind develops a kind of radar that causes resources to wave little red flags at you, and to almost jump into your arms, or at least into your awareness. But again, you can see how this relates to taking action, because these resources you notice are useful only if you use them. Okay, so far, by focusing on what you want, you've begun to develop some ideas about how to get it, and you've started noticing resources you could use. Next, focusing on what you want causes you to become motivated to act. Because you're thinking about what you want, and about how you'll feel when you get it - good, probably - you become motivated to do something, to take action.

You can be a high-quality person.

And, finally, focusing on what you want causes you to tap into or develop certain internal qualities that help you to get it, such things as courage, or persistence, or focus. Because you're focused on what you want, and are thinking about the benefits of having what you want and imagining how good it will feel, you're more likely to be persistent, to focus your attention, to be disciplined, to be self reliant, to take personal initiative, to use your imagination, and to be enthusiastic. Those who focus on what they want develop all of these personal qualities, and, depending on what qualities are needed in order to create what you want, possibly others. And, the more and the longer you focus on what you want, and the more positive emotion you add, the more these qualities become part of your personality.

So focusing your mind in the way described in The Secret causes you to have ideas, to notice people and resources that could help you, to become motivated to act, and to develop internal qualities that will help you act to get what you want. You can see, then, how incredibly valuable focusing your attention on what you want can be. If you've ever wondered why some people seem to have so many ideas, how they seem to always find the resources they need or the people who can help them, how they stay motivated, and how they seem to have all these amazing personal qualities, now you know. They did it by continually focusing their attention on what they want and then taking valuable action.

Ask the Magic Question.

Now here's a really easy way to focus your attention on what you want. I call it the Magic Question, but again, it really isn't magic. To focus your attention on something you want to create or attract, ask yourself, "How can I create X?" whatever X is, or "How can I get X?" Sometimes, if you're in what seems to be a particularly bad situation, you might say, "Given that I'm in this situation, what can I do to get X?" For instance, if you just lost your job and you have a lot of debts, you might ask yourself, "Okay, given that I'm in this situation, what can I do right now to create a new job and create enough money to pay all these debts?"

When you ask this type of How Can I? question, it focuses your attention on what you want, and in doing so you enlist your mind in finding an answer - in other words, to figure out what you could actually DO to begin creating or attracting what you want. Then, as you get ideas, you have to act on them. Sitting there wishing and hoping for a miracle, or hoping that a coincidence will slam into you is what NOT to do. Dr. Phil, if he were here, would be asking such a person, "How's that workin' for ya?" I know a lot of very successful people, including nearly every teacher who appears in The Secret, and believe me, none of them sit around waiting for a miracle to land on them.

Even the few of them who actually, and in my opinion mistakenly, teach that focusing on what you want is magic, when you watch what they're actually doing, they are taking action. How they can miss the fact that they are is beyond me, but a few of them - who shall remain nameless - do teach people to just "put it out to the universe" and that no action is necessary. They too, though, take action, but I guess they somehow fail to see the connection between the action they take and the results they get. If you look around at successful, make-it-happen people, you won't see any of them who don't take action.

It only looks like they're not taking action.

Now I'll admit that sometimes the results can look as if they are coming to a very successful person awfully darned easy and awfully darned quickly, but these results are still coming from action, preceded by focusing on what that person wanted. My friend Gay Hendricks, along with his wife Katie, have been bestselling authors of books about relationships for over twenty years. Another friend, Jack Canfield, is also a bestselling author. Either one of them can pick up the phone, call a book publisher, tell them an idea for a book, and get a book deal instantly. If some other person wanted a book deal, it could take them years to make it happen. If their idea didn't have value, based on what the publisher wanted, they might never make it happen.

To someone who did not understand the principle of taking action and the principle of creating value, it might look like Gay or Jack made something happen as if by magic, without taking action. However, in this case the book deal happened quickly because of actions they'd previously taken. In fact, Jack visited scores of publishers with the original Chicken Soup for the Soul book, and was almost ready to give up, when he finally found a publisher willing to print his book. But now, after selling well over 100 million books, he's already proven that he can create a bestselling book. He's already taken the action necessary to get a book publisher to send him a contract and a check. The same goes for Gay Hendricks.

I can create a new course or a new product, and Centerpointe program participants will buy it tomorrow, in droves. This isn't magic, though. It's the residual of thousands of actions I've already taken which have convinced my customers that when I create something, it's going to be worth it for them to buy it in order to get the benefits. I've already taken the required action, and sometimes that makes it look as if little or no action is being taken in order to get a certain outcome.

[Text courtesy of Bill Harris]

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