Those are pretty controversial statements to make these days, yet strangely enough the general theme tends to become true, for the few people who are crazy enough to believe it.
And most of us don’t believe it. In fact, many of us end up going completely the opposite way. One of the problems with being a clever and analytical person like yourself, is that you’ve become very good at seeing what might go wrong. You can see the risks inherent in any enterprise, and if you’ve got enough Cliff Claven in you, you might even be fond of expounding about those risks to anyone around who will listen.
There are even people make whole careers of this. Fear-mongering in general tends to make you sound smart, and fearful people get a quirky sort of reassurance by snuggling up to a fearful leader, and confidently predicting the worst possible outcome. Dmitri Orlov gets lots of attention by continuously foretelling the complete collapse of the United States. A favorite technique of Collapse theorists is to sit at the news screen, interpreting each development of still further evidence of their theory. “Oh.. now the politicians are arguing. Sure sign of collapse. National debt is growing.. collapse. Oil consumption rising faster than supply.. just as I predicted, ’twas foretold, ’twas foretold.
Whew, it hurt my fingers even to type that paragraph above, even though it was all completely made up. But it hurts because it’s true – some people actually say things like that on a regular basis. And every time I hear it, I feel like grasping the person’s head between my hands and shaking it while I say, “Wake up, Dude! You’re doing more than just discussing your situation right now.. You’re creating your own reality!”
Let’s contrast the life of the Personal Collapse person to the fate of a really lucky person. You probably know at least one person that is just so lucky that they annoy you. The person has a better job than you, always seems to get promotions, has cooler friends, and maybe even a more attractive spouse and a greener lawn. Some even accuse plain old Mr. Money Mustache of being annoying for the same reason, “Oh, enough from you Mustache. You retired early and then things seem to keep going well for you. You’re making it all up, or if you’re not, it’s just luck and it can’t be applied to me”.
Fair enough. Let’s stop the fakeypants Fresh-From-the-Tanning-Salon-Self-Help-Guru spiel right now. We’re all scientists here, so we can acknowledge that luck, or the partially random distribution of life situations, does indeed play a part in how a person’s life turns out. There’s the genetic lottery, where each person gets different abilities directly from their parents, then there is upbringing, family, location, and pure random events supplied by the outside world. It’s bound to create a very diverse set of results, right?
But if you’ve ever been to a bar and watched a less-attractive friend have far greater success in attracting mates, or worked in an office where you notice that many of the people in highly paid senior positions are less competent and intelligent than yourself, you know there is something fishy about the theory that luck and birthright alone deliver our fate.
I’m hefting a stainless steel case onto the table and undoing the latches for you for you now. It’s lined with black velvet and as I open it up, both of our faces light up with golden light, just like when they opened Marsalis Wallace’s Briefcase in Pulp fiction. Inside is a very smooth, very polished tool that looks like it was crafted by an advanced alien race. It is made of gold and silver materials, with a sculpted handle and cobalt blue trigger. It’s your new Optimism Gun.
But what good is fictional asset like an Optimism Gun when we’re trying to accomplish things here in the real world? The answer is a Hell of a lot of good, because in this world full of humans, almost all of our “reality” is created in our own heads.
Is money real? No, it’s just a shared understanding among all of us that we agree to store value in nontangible forms. What about Gold, that’s more real than money, right? Nope – offer a pile of gold coins and a nice chunk of meat to a dog, and see which one he chooses.
But does it really work? I found my own Gun about 21 years ago and I have certainly found it effective whenever I had the courage to apply it. It has helped me get an offer for every job I have ever applied to, earn and save more money than the pessimists assumed possible, have a very nice family life, and be generally happy every day, as I’m sure you’ve heard more than enough.
Humans are automatically drawn to Leaders: Most people just want to hang back with the crowd and shy away from pressure of standing out. As soon as somebody stands on the box and picks up the conch, people start listening. If you dare to express optimism about anything, you’re stepping onto a little soapbox, and it gets attention.
People want it to be true: If you’ve become a small-time leader and you deliver the Good Word, people will naturally want to keep listening, because you help them feel good about things too.
Optimism tricks you into trying more things: If you believe success is almost guaranteed, you’re going to try some pretty fun ventures. In reality, sure, you fail at some things, but what do they always tell us is the best teacher? That’s right, it’s failure. So you end up racking up much more hard-earned experience and knowledge than the non-optimist. Then what do you do with all that extra knowledge? You succeed. Meanwhile, everyone else is still hesitating to try the first thing.
You are forced not to focus on things you can’t control: One of the most useful lessons of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is that you never worry about stuff you cannot control. You just work on the things you can. As an example, I never watch the political debates or follow the polls for next month’s presidential election. That doesn’t help me at all! Instead, I just read the descriptions of the policies each candidate plans to put into place, evaluate those against my best guess at their long-term effects on the success of the world in general (not just based on my own situation), then send in my mail-in ballot long before the election day. Then I can be optimistic because I’ve had my full say by voting, and I have hundreds of hours freed up to accomplish other things while the pessimists are still watching TV and worrying about the election!
Acknowledge and Bow Down to the Placebo Effect: When it comes to health and well-being, the mind controls the body way more than rational people like to admit. This isn’t just new-age medicine – the very thought of taking medicine that makes people better, has a statistically significant effect on the outcome of medical tests. It is so real, that scientists have to adjust for it by giving people fake pills, which make them better, in order to see if the real pills do even more than the fake ones.
I enjoy hacking this fact this to control my own health. I have a permanent belief that I am unusually healthy, and that this condition will persist forever. Even when I get sick, I look at it as a very temporary anomaly, always assuming I’ll be back to full health by the next day. It usually proves to be true. Not only am I overdosing on the placebo effect, but these assumptions lead me to do the deliberate things one would do if one were preparing for a healthy 122-year lifespan as well. And on top of all this, the optimism is limiting the release of the human stress hormone Cortisol, which tends to destroy health. The less you worry about health, the healthier you become.
So the only remaining barrier is: are you daring enough to begin this journey by turning the Optimism Gun on Yourself?
Source: Vibrational Manifestion
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