A commitment creates magic

“Resolution is the directing and impelling force in individual progress. Without it no substantial work can be accomplished.” — Above Life’s Turmoil

The esteemed philosopher Goethe wrote, “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.” There are so many opportunities that could make our lives better if we’d only make the decision (resolution) to pursue them. Whether it’s fear, doubt or some other insecurity that holds us back, these missed opportunities keep us from living the life of our dreams.

In 711 a North African warrior, whose army was backed up to the Mediterranean Sea, gave the unthinkable order to his men to “burn your boats,” thus taking away his army’s only means of escape. Faced with certain death unless they were victorious, his army routed their opponents even though they were outnumbered five to one. When we are likewise resolved, we too can conquer all the obstacles in our path.

Don’t worry about “how-to-do-it.” One of my early mistakes was trying to figure out how I was going to do something before I’d get committed to do it. Now I think about all of the great inventions of our time, and I wonder if we’d have any of them if the inventor had waited to make his commitment until he knew how he was going to do it. Making the decision (the resolution) to do it is the most important part of any undertaking. As W.H. Murray wrote, “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”

If you don’t feel like you have enough information to make a decision, then by all means, get the information. But don’t put off getting the information as a means to put off making the decision. And don’t think you have to have ALL the information that’s available — you only need ENOUGH to fully evaluate and decide. “Paralysis by analysis” has killed many a dream.

Any decision is almost always better than no decision as it puts into play some powerful forces. As Goethe also told us, “Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.”

And that’s worth thinking about.

The Power of Belief

“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Look at that problem again

“Your difficulty is not contained, primarily, in the situation which gave rise to it, but in the mental state with which you regard that situation and which you bring to bear upon it.” – Byways of Blessedness

It is one of the hardest lessons to accept, understand and learn.

Circumstances are not negative or positive, circumstances are neutral. It is our thinking, our mental state, our perspective, that makes a circumstance positive or negative.

Bob Proctor does some of the best teaching on this subject, using a universal law he refers to as the Law of Polarity.

“Everything in the universe has its opposite. There would be no inside to a room without an outside. You have a right and left side to your body, a front and a back. Every up has a down and every down has an up. The Law of Polarity not only states that everything has an opposite — it is equal and opposite. If it was three feet from the floor up to the table, it would be three feet from the table down to the floor. If it is 150 miles from Manchester to London, by law it must be 150 miles from London to Manchester; it could not be any other way.

“If something you considered bad happens in your life, there has to be something good about it. If it was only a little bad, when you mentally work your way around to the other side, you will find it will only be a little good.”

So it’s clear from Bob’s teaching that every circumstance can be viewed two ways. It’s the way we view a circumstance that determines it’s impact on our thinking and mental state. And we know from James Allen’s teaching that that determines the quality of life that we live.

No matter how bad the circumstance appears to be, taking another look, from another perspective, reveals to us the good. Or as Napoleon Hill, author of the classic Think and Grow Rich, wrote, “Every adversity, every failure and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or a greater benefit.”

And that’s worth thinking about.

The world is our mirror

“What you are, so is your world. Everything in the universe is resolved into your own inward experience. It matters little what is without, for it is all a reflection of your own state of consciousness. It matters everything what you are within, for everything without will be mirrored and colored accordingly.” — Path to Prosperity

Although we rarely want to admit it, the world (as we see it) is simply a mirror, reflecting back to us our own inner state. If we are inwardly in turmoil then we are certain to see a tumultuous world. Just as certainly, a seemingly joyful world is only returning to us our own inward joy.

Those days when everything seems to go wrong from the moment we wake up, usually begins with one bad event (car won’t start, alarm didn’t go off, etc.) that we allow to affect our state of mind. That leads to another, and then another and before you know it, the world looks like an ugly place to us.

Put enough of those days together and life can become almost unbearable. Yet, nothing in the world created our misery — it was our response —- our own state of consciousness — that created the ugliness.

In the mid-1990’s I allowed a few negative events (brought on by living by the wrong principles) to drastically change my state of consciousness. In the middle of one of the greatest economic expansions in the history of the world, I barely lived above the level of poverty. Where others saw opportunity, I saw lack. It was simply a reflection of my inner state.

By 1998 I had gained control of my inner self and, accordingly, the sun once again began to shine in my world. The same circumstances that had once appeared as lack, now appeared as opportunities. Today there are so many opportunities in my life that I am only able to act on a tiny fraction of them. My table truly overfloweth.

During my dark days I came across a tiny booklet called 12 Ways to Develop a Positive Attitude. The author, Dale Galloway, writes from experience. He was a well-known pastor whose wife suddenly left him one year a few days before Christmas.

One of the many gems he offered was: “No matter what happens, look for the good and you’ll find it. A positive thinker does not refuse to recognize the negative – he refuses to dwell on it. Positive thinking is a form of thought which habitually looks for the best results from the worst conditions. It is always possible to look for something good; to expect the best for yourself even though things look bad. And the remarkable fact is that when you seek good, you will find it.”

And that’s worth thinking about.