Keep Asking!Do not be troubled because you have not great virtues. God made a million spears of grass where He made one tree. The earth is fringed and carpeted not with forests but with grasses. Only have enough of little virtues and common fidelities and you need not mourn because you are neither a hero nor a saint.
· Henry Ward Beecher
As a powerfully creative individual, you have two incredible tools that form the foundation of your creative power. Whether you're aware of it or not, you're already using one of these tools to create everything you currently experience in your life - good and bad alike. Begin using these two tools together, and you'll harness a creative force within you to manifest your heart's desire. Before you can do that, however, you'll need to use the 4 magic words I'll share with you in a moment. First, let's talk about the powerful tools to which I'm referring.
The tools are attention and intention. Attention is defined as: "Concentration of the mental powers upon an object." You use attention any time you concentrate your thoughts upon something, whether it's an object or just another thought. A simple law of the universe says wherever you focus your attention, you also focus your creative energy. In other words, what you think about, you create in your experience.
The second tool, intention, is defined as: "An aim that guides action." Intention is the aim, the object or the reality you want to bring into your experience. Intention is "the object of your desires." When you focus your attention on what you want and make it your intention to create it, you take hold of a creative force that can literally move mountains.
Alexander Graham Bell spoke of this force when he stated, "What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it."
The 4 magic words that position you to use this creative force is your own life are . . . "What do I want?" Sounds simple, right? It is. But it's not always easy to know what you want. Further, when you do actually decide what you want, you face the challenge of asking for and receiving it. Even further, you've faced those times when you actually got what you wanted, only to discover it wasn't as great as you expected.
You end up just accepting and tolerating whatever life throws you, whether in the form of your career, your mate, your income, your living environment, etc. Then, of course, in our state of "tolerating life," the more we focus upon what we don't want, the more of it we experience. In the words of fitness guru Susan Powter . . . "Stop the insanity!"
"What do I want?" Begin using these 4 words each day. As Stephen Covey says, "write it down, asterisk it, underline it." If you ask it, the answers will come. Keep asking until the answers do come.
See, you will always get something, even if it's only more of the same. My good friend and fellow Coach, Bryden Manning talks about "Christmas morning relationships." As a child, when you awoke Christmas morning, you knew you'd have stuff under the tree. But if you didn't make a list of what you wanted, there's no telling what you'd get.
It works the same with every area of your life. Every day is Christmas morning. You'll always get something. Have you made your list yet? "What do I want?" Just say it out-loud with me.
"What do I want?"
If you have a hard time with this question, consider taking a class or work with a coach. It's too important a question to ignore any longer. It's your life, after all. Start today. Say it..."what do I want?"
To the extent you get clear on the answer to this question, to that same extent can you focus your attention on it and make it your intention to create it. I'll leave you with the simple and direct words of Walt Whitman, who said "claim your own at any hazard."
It's your life! Make it great.
About the Author
Michael D. Pollock is an Executive Success Coach, offering coaching, training and facilitation that's focused on helping business leaders, managers, executives and entrepreneurs design lives that are both materially successful, as well as spiritually fulfilling and grounded. He is also a founding member of Coachville.com - an online coach training firm and one of the largest professional networks of coaches in the world. Michael's bold and integrated approach to coaching is designed to help individuals discover and align with their soul's purpose. Learn more about Michael Pollock here. You can also subscribe to his popular newsletter, "It's Your Life!" by sending a blank email to ItsYourLifefirstname.lastname@example.org
· Baltasar Gracián (1601-1658) – Aphorism 24, The Art of Worldly Wisdom (A Pocket Oracle)
Anyone who has gone thru a series of counseling sessions can tell you how it goes: Many of the sessions are spent telling the story of what brought them there. What it turns out to be is a list of the things, (behaviors, experiences, etc.) that are no longer wanted in their life. Until that list of the unwanted and painful is fully explored, it is almost impossible to decide what is wanted. Counseling, in this sense, is a process of discovery whereby a good listener leads the client on, past this point of pain, and helps them discover their own passion and giving them leverage for living.
A passion for life involves change, no question about it. Change requires something to move toward, new behaviors and experiences. Changing my life requires the breaking of old patterns and the initiation and reinforcement of new ones. In some cases, I may need to create an empowering alternative that diverts me from what I am doing into the path of where I want to be, doing what I should. In every case, successful change hinges upon choices, decisions based on whether such choices are aligned with my values, beliefs and rules I have set for myself.
Establishing new patterns is not something I have to do, it is something I get to do. I am "blazing a trail to new possibilities," rather than forcing myself to behave in a certain way. The privileges and subsequent benefits of practicing new behavior, making changes and different choices is an empowering alternative to having to do it, isn't it? Choosing these empowering words is referred to in coaching circles as "transformational vocabulary," because they truly change the way I approach a problem or an action.
What I want, in a general sense - joy, happiness, contentment, good health and long life - these wants are certainly important. Each decision made along the way is an important step in the attainment of them. No matter how insignificant a wanted thing may be, intuition or creative wisdom may help the process. Do I want a parking space near the door of my favorite restaurant? Why not pause for a moment, and listen to my inner voice? Perhaps I need to drive around the block once, while someone gets out to their car to open one up for me. It doesn't hurt to ask. Nor to ask again. Developing creative wisdom, a knowingness about what to do next and what course to take, will open possibilities otherwise unreachable.
So will believing that an answer to my asking is forthcoming. Who else will answer if I keep asking? Doing this, asking and believing that I will have an answer, requires me to rely upon my own ethics rather than rules and laws as the governing inner light for myself. If I know something is right for me, it will be because it is in harmony with my spiritual principles.
It may have taken me a long time to develop the behaviors I wish to change. It has been a long path of choices to get me where I find myself at this moment. Expecting to be immediately successful in attaining a goal is unrealistic, especially if I am measuring progress by some societal standard that is immediately unattainable. Measuring myself against an ideal, on the other hand, lets me progress in a balanced manner toward that ideal, and forgives me for falling short today, because tomorrow will be an improvement.
Deciding what I want requires a realistic attitude, a sensitivity and respectfulness to the concrete reality of my situation as I proceed upon my Path. It may take time and consistent effort to get what I want. I must make a clear distinction in my mind between my ideals and the standards by which I judge my progress.
What do I want? I want the kind of things most people want. Gallup conducted a poll for Success magazine in 1983, about the perceptions of success. The overwhelming vote for health, enjoyable work, a happy family, a good education, peace of mind and good friends points to renewed commitment to traditional values that have been the foundation for American life from the beginning. Unlimited money, talent, luck, the luxuries of life fell into the bottom of the list. A surprise? Not really.
I have found that, the more often I ask myself what it is I want, the more often I attract just that into my life. And the more I give up or give away, the more I receive. Fire up your imagination. Turn it loose to ask yourself what you want. It doesn't cost anything to ask, and keep asking until you get an answer you can live with!
Peace and Light,
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