Great success is the result of a great many steps,
all moving toward a clearly defined goal.
That is the secret of manifestation.
One of the greatest obstacles to success is that the advice sounds far too simplistic, enigmatic (like a Zen koan), or — worse yet — obvious, something we’ve heard countless times before.
I promised myself that every time I gave a talk or wrote things like this, I would give away the essence of what I know. But when I try to put it into words, it runs into the same problem that all advice from spiritual teachers (or wealthy people, for that matter) runs into:
“Work smarter, not harder.”
You will be what you will to be. . . .
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’ve heard that a million times. But have we really thought about what it means? Have we applied it in our lives? That simple phrase contains something important, something essential to success. I have pondered that phrase over and over, over the course of many years, and its meaning has deepened over time.
Here’s the essence of what I know: When we dare to dream, when we set a goal, we set a course for ourselves. If that goal is expansive — if we dare to dream about the most wonderful kind of life we can imagine and then create for ourselves — doubts and fears will inevitably come up.
The two most important things we can do are (1) set our course, and keep moving toward our destination, step by step, and (2) deal with the doubts and fears that arise.
Once we have set a goal, the journey of our lives becomes like the flight of an airplane: A plane is off course over 95 percent of the time, but the pilot keeps correcting, over and over, until the destination is reached.
When we’re frustrated, depressed, confused, upset, sad, or angry, we have wandered off course again. We get off course, over and over, and need to reset our course. How do we make this course correction during all the activities of our daily lives?
In many, many cases it can be as easy as remembering one phrase. The essential teachings of many books and seminars and mentors can be summed up in one phrase. And it just takes that one phrase — and sometimes just one word — to remind us of what we know.
Pick a phrase, any phrase that works for you, and repeat it over and over. Here’s a great one from James Allen’s As You Think:
When spirit rises and commands,
the gods are ready to obey.
To offer no resistance to life
When you dare to dream, and dare to make a clear, focused goal, the creative energy of the universe rushes in to support that dream. Spout one phrase like that, and you’re back on course.
Go to any book that inspires you, or grab your audio player, and read or listen until you find the right phrase, the phrase that will get you back on course. I put these phrases up in big type on my wall, and keep them there until they’re indelibly etched in my mind.
I pondered this phrase for months:
is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness.
— Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
We all know this.
Just quietly repeating those words fills you with grace, ease, and lightness — and you’re back on course, able to focus on your dream, your goal, and take the next obvious little step toward it.
All kinds of things can get us back on course. Remember a book you’ve read or course you’ve taken that inspired you. What was it that you learned? Remember it, again.
We all know the keys to success.
They’re not complicated; they’re simple.
We just keep forgetting them, over and over,
and need to be reminded of them, over and over.
“You are allowed to read the newspapers now.
Listen to a talk by Eckhart Tolle or to anyone who inspires you at this moment. It might just be one phrase you take with you through the rest of the day that keeps you on course.
Great art gets us back on course, showing us that all of creation (including us!) is a miracle. Music gets us back on course, reminding us that life is extraordinary. Rebecca West gave us a great key here:
I hope you will not attach too much importance to them.
They give you a picture of an ordinary world
that does not exist.
You must always believe that life is as extraordinary
as music says it is.”
— Rebecca West,
The Fountain Overflows
In an easy and relaxed manner,
A sunset . . . an infant’s shining eyes . . . a dog or a cat . . . a flower springing through a crack in the sidewalk . . . a tree in the wind . . . these words right now: They all remind us of the wonder of what is.
And we’re back on course; we remember again that we’re phenomenal beings, each gifted in our own ways, and filled with the gift of life. We have something special to share with the world. We have a dream, and we’re taking the next steps in front of us that lead us to realize that dream. One small step at a time is all we need to take.
One small affirmation is all we need at times. Find the words that inspire you and repeat them, like a prayer or a mantra. Words like these:
a healthy and positive way,
in my own perfect time, for the highest good of all,
I am now living the life of my dreams.
Keep repeating words like those and see what happens.
— Marc Allen