We either attract or repel opportunities with our thoughts, words and the subsequent actions we take. When our thoughts, words and actions are in harmony with the person we want to be, our goals, and the life we wish to create, we draw people and opportunities into our lives to help turn our dreams into reality. Carl Jung called this phenomena synchronicity.
This so called ‘positive thinking’ is not some new age mumbo jumbo, in recent years scientists have found evidence that shows why some people are ‘luckier’ than others. When testing brain activity in rats scientists discovered that when rats were given new tasks their brain developed new pathways, suggesting that the brain undergoes continuous physical changes throughout our lives. They confirmed these findings by conducting similar experiments on terminal cancer patients who gave permission for their brains to be studied after their death.
The major discovery to come out of this research is that our brains are continually remodelled by the lives we lead, which can mean that we no longer need to be restricted by the labels or beliefs that have been placed upon us. We can change our beliefs at any time,and at any age we choose, but there is a catch. These changes only occur when the mind is focused and paying attention. In other words when we are mindful.
ACTING ON VALUES IS A WAY OF BEING MINDFUL
Carol, who completed my life coach training course became aware that one of her core needs is security. Now one of the things I encourage people to do, when we want to create change, is to choose values that supports us to be the person we want to be. This has a number of benefits: acting on values makes us feel good about ourselves and this is the foundation for building a happy life; it helps us change our perception of who we can be and what we can do and have; and when we change our perception of ourselves, then other people’s perception of us automatically changes. Acting on values takes focused attention.
Carol chose to be more trusting. She did this by being: discerning, willing, slow to judge and more open to opportunities. She paid conscious attention to her actions and reactions and made conscious choices on a daily basis. She didn’t pretend to be a trusting person, she acted like a trusting person and in doing so her world changed.
At that time Carol needed a computer but didn’t have the money to buy one, so she started visualising herself working at her computer, and she was open to how this computer could come into her life. A few days later she was doing a favour for a friend and told her what she was doing. Her friend, who was in the process of buying a new computer, happily gave her her old computer. Inspired by her success Carol decided to focus on attracting coaching clients. She started chatting to people about what she did everywhere she went; in stores, at the hairdressers, in her yoga class and within weeks her business started picking up. Carol was committed to living the process that she was teaching and each day she became more joyful and the more she trusted in a responsible way the more opportunities came her way.
The reticular activating system, a portion of the brain which acts like a scanner, is an order taker. When you take steps as Carol did to respond in a different way, the brain is on the constant look out for it and brings these opportunities to your conscious awareness. The flow on effect is that the more success you experience, no matter how small, the easier it is to believe you can have what you really want. When you believe your actions automatically change.
Focusing can also help you learn new skills that may previously have been difficult. Susan Schenkel, a clinical psychologist and author of the book, Giving Away Success, tells the story of when she was in graduate school studying statistics. It was generally considered that clinical psychology students would not do well in that subject, and she didn’t, but when the possibility arose of actually failing she decided to spend her Christmas holiday studying statistics by reading and re-reading the chapters. At first it felt as if she was reading ancient Greek, she didn’t understand a thing, but by continually focusing, she not only started absorbing the material but started understanding it. Then it became fun, and in her final exam she ranked number two out of forty students. Imagine if you placed the same focused attention on something in your life that you didn’t like, such as your job. You may find that by changing the way you think and what you focus on it becomes more enjoyable.
It’s easy to give up on your dreams when nothing seems to work, or they seem so far out of reach but I urge you to continue IF it’s what you really want. There will be many times in life when you have no idea how to get what you want, and sometimes you just have to trust and do as much as you can now. The heart and the mind are incredibly powerful, and when you allow them to work together, take steps to be the person you want to be you often find a way where there appears to be no way.