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The goal of life is living in agreement with nature—Zeno

roadWhen you imagine your goal, believe that it’s already taking the path toward realization. In fact, it’s pretty much a done deal by the time you release the thought. Your job is to believe.

We don’t know why things work this way but, for the moment, let’s accept that they do.  We see it in our mind first and then after an hour or a week or longer, poof, the goal arrives in the physical world. The time frame may differ with each goal, but that’s okay—it’s your time frame. You’re in charge. Take steps confidently toward the goal, trusting that the time frame is perfect for you. Our job is to help its completion by putting in the necessary effort and by watching and listening for guiding sign posts that come to us as hunches or inspiration. We don’t need to worry about how all these wonders will occur.

Obviously, if your goal is to receive a diploma after taking a computer programming course, you need to show up and take the classes. No school will give you a diploma for simply willing it to happen. Your goal’s story needs action to propel it to the end: learn the lessons, do the homework, take the tests, and earn your diploma.

Some goals, however, take less effort than others. I was having trouble finding a cracker that was low in sodium, but even the ones with 30% or 40% less salt were still too salty for my taste. I didn’t do much about it, but I had been mentioning it to my friends, and had scanned the cracker counters for a suitable product, but never found anything I liked. A couple days later I was at a friend’s place for dinner, and her daughter brought out some pieces of long, flat cracker that were stale. I ate them quietly, but my friend noticed the ‘crackers’ were old. She apologized and said she would buy me some fresh ones, so I could taste what they’re really like. I told her that wasn’t necessary, but she was already half-way to the store.

I’m so glad she brought me a box of these flat ‘crackers’ because they had no salt at all! I tasted them and liked them. Finally, a sodium free cracker. I looked at the box and they were Matzo crackers. I had been at her house during the Jewish holiday of Passover, and the Matzo or flat, unleavened bread is its symbol. (There are no coincidences!)

In a hundred years, I would never have been able to map out the exact journey from my desiring a less salty cracker to participating in the ritual of Seder to my friend bringing me the cracker of my dreams. My cruder and less imaginative method was to plod through the grocery stores and complain to my friends. Neither of these tactics was wrong; at least I was taking steps toward my goal; they were just less inspired than the magic the Universe can perform on our behalf. We only need to picture the manifested goal and then move toward it by believing it’s on its way. The steps we take will come from hunches and inspiration. We don’t need to plan out how it’s going to arrive.

 If we persist in attempting the magic ourselves, we actually impede the flow of the Universe and its miraculous ways.

Next time, I’ll just imagine the perfect crackers and then let the image go. The Universe is way better than I at mapping out the crackers’ pathway to my house.

How do our goals arrive completed? They come via our belief that they’re already here. Shalom. bird

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris

In all things that you do, consider the end—Solon

This may sound like a broken record, but what we think about has total bearing on what direction our lives take. This is a huge and fundamental part of creating our reality. I will continue to tell myself this because it’s absolutely essential in my quest for a better life. Here’s a small example of wrong thinking that almost took me off course.

I had scraped the front bumper of my car.  ‘Oh, dear. Oh, dear,’ I thought. ‘Whatever shall I do?’ I know. I will imagine the worst possible scenario: I must take the extreme action of driving the car into a paint repair place and have them repaint my entire car at a tremendous cost. That was the only thought that entered my head.

I was about to take this wrong turn  when one of my intelligent friends said, ‘Before you do something completely unnecessary, why not try wiping the scrape with warm, soapy water.’ ‘What?’ I said. ‘That’s way too simple. It involves minimum effort and doesn’t inconvenience me in any way. How can this possibly work? Aren’t we powerless to the whims of fate and meant to suffer and face tremendous adversity in most circumstances?’

I got a bucket of warm, soapy water and gave the bumper a clean-up. I couldn’t believe my eyes: the paint magically reappeared.


Thought for the day:

There’s usually a simple solution. Look for that one first.

carEver since that experience, my first thought is, ‘I want the simple solution to this problem.’ I believe I’ll find one, and guess what?  Nine times out of ten, I’m led to the least complicated outcome. Change our thoughts; change the direction of our lives.


If we want to know what direction leads to our future, we need only study our thoughts because what we’re focusing on is going to happen. Guaranteed. The great thing about this is we become the storytellers of our lives. It’s our story; we control the narrative. That’s the wonderful part. Sure we’re going to have some bumps and scrapes along the way, but we’re strong; we’re creative. The not-so-great part is that some of us are lousy storytellers: we love high drama, constant conflict, endless suffering, and crises after crises without balancing the story-line with love, romance, fun, joy, compassion, empathy, passion, and abundance.


Our thoughts create our story. They attract all the characters and situations. Why not find simple solutions for ourselves and, if possible, give each chapter a happy ending?


To reach a port, we must sail—sail, not tie at anchor—sail, not drift. –Franklin Roosevelt

Creating reality takes a little work. We write down our desires, speak to our subconscious, train our mind to imagine the desire manifested, and anticipate receipt of the object of our desire, all the while keeping our thoughts clear of negativity and doubt. Now what? If we want results from our desires, we need to take action.truckin

All the writing, speaking, training, and anticipating can do only so much. When we are in a state of creating, we have the potential to receive every wish imaginable, but ‘potential results’ are not yet manifestations in concrete reality. The next step is action.

Years ago, I was looking to get a companion animal—a dog. I was open to receiving the best dog for me, whatever that might be. I had no preconceived images of the right dog. Every time I was out jogging and saw someone with a dog, I’d stop and ask them about the breed. Dog owners love their dogs, of course, and everyone I spoke with raved about their pet. Hard to decide.

I visited the local pound, but never felt drawn to a particular dog. I watched pet programs on T.V., but never settled on any breed or mixed breed. I spoke to groomers and pet store owners, but still couldn’t decide on a specific type of dog. Nonetheless, I kept taking action. I even imagined actively jogging with my ghost dog. On I went, searching for my pet.

One afternoon, I was looking through dog books and saw a photo of a standard poodle. The dog’s face reminded me of my childhood dog. I immediately got a little butterfly in my stomach. That glimmer of interest was all my subconscious needed to ‘hear.’ Without realizing it, I had just implanted into my subconscious my desire for a poodle. I closed the book and completely forgot I’d even seen that photo until . . .

The next day, I was jogging along my usual route in my neighborhood and suddenly felt inclined to go down a street I hadn’t seen before. I followed my hunch and jogged for a couple blocks when I noticed, up ahead, 2 girls walking a full-grown, black standard poodle. After weeks of approaching strangers walking their dogs, I felt no hesitation in asking the girls about poodles. They were happy to talk to me about the benefits of this wonderful breed: they’re intelligent, agile, stronger than people think, and playful for life.

I was about to thank them and jog home, when one of the girls said, ‘I live right here and the mother of this dog just had another litter. Would you like to see the puppies?’

Ah, the hook!

I experienced a lovely miracle that day. My dog and I met and got to spend many memorable years in each other’s company. Was he the best dog for me? You bet!poodle

You might argue that finding a dog is easy. Anybody can manifest that. It’s not like trying to create a thousand dollars. Finding money is way harder. Not really. I didn’t want just any dog; I wanted the right dog for me at that moment in my life.

In order to attract the best manifestation of our desires, we need to get out of the way and trust that our higher selves will guide and direct us.

Listen for those subtle suggestions to take a different turn.

Yes, I could have gone out and brought home the first dog I saw, but that would have been my conscious mind taking control. I wanted my higher self, in league with my subconscious, to be in charge. That’s how the magic happens.

Define what you want and then take action to see it materialize in the external world. Listen to hunches and your intuition: those nudges will guide you to the realization of your desire.

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible—Tony Robbins

When we set goals for ourselves and meet them, we change everything. We begin to see how our desires can be realized; we feel good about ourselves, and we watch our lives improve. Each day, decide what you want to accomplish.

NOTEPADWhen you wake up, make a list, either in your head or, even better write it down so you can look at it. Study the list for a few minutes and then go about your day. Most of us can accomplish these daily tasks, and we feel good after we’ve accomplished them.

Start now. Put a goal on your list that says something like, ‘Today I pamper myself with my favorite treat.’ You can replace ‘favorite treat’ with the actual treat. I would put on my list, ‘Today I am going to ignore all the caloric nonsense attached to a bowl of ice cream, and I’m going to eat a bowl of chocolaty ice cream.’ I feel good just thinking about it.

The next suggestion is really important: when you have your treat in front of you, enjoy every bit of it and never, not for one second, feel guilty. If you entertain even one atom of guilt, the whole thing loses its magic. This is our treat; we have a right to it; we earned it. This suggestion comes with a famous caveat: Everything in moderation; nothing in excess.

biscuits(While I was working on this post, I had begun imagining eating chocolate treats. My friend popped in and brought over a package of 10 chocolate biscuits—There are no coincidences—I felt no guilt. I knew about moderation, so I ate 5.)

After you’ve enjoyed your treat, retrace your steps.

  1. I must think of a treat;
  2. I desire that treat;
  3. I am now taking steps to acquire that treat;
  4. I am grateful, in advance, to the Universe for placing this treat in front of me;
  5. I am now seeing the treat in front of me;
  6. I am enjoying the treat.

Our mind is a wonderful servant waiting to work for us. What do we most desire in our life? Let’s write it down. Imagine it. Be specific. Picture it as complete. We thank the Universe in advance for fulfilling our desire because we believe it’s possible and it’s on its way. Why wouldn’t it be? The Universe wants what’s best for us, and will deliver it at the most perfect moment in our life. We give thanks for our realized desire arriving on time in the best possible manner.

Whatever our mind is trained to anticipate in the real world, it will bring into being.

The action of making a list for your favorite treat is no different from the action of desiring a state of mind for a day, or a wealth of abundance for a lifetime. We can desire a better job, or a healthy body, or a new friend. The Universe perceives these desires as exactly the same.

We think one desire might be more difficult than another, but just because we think that way doesn’t make it true. In truth, desires don’t come with built-in scales of difficulty. We build those fake levels in our doubts, which is why we set up barriers to their creation, either through our guilt or our disbelief. Some goals may take a little longer to create, but so what? We can wait. Patience is good for us. It’s all the sweeter when it arrives, and we learn to appreciate our riches.

We need to have faith in ourselves. We send out the command; we’re grateful in advance; the Universe manifests our desires; we enjoy every spoonful. Plain and simple. Good on us.

Even when I was in the orphanage, when I was roaming the street trying to find enough to eat, even then I thought of myself as the greatest actor in the world. I had to feel the exuberance that comes from utter confidence in yourself. Without it, you go down to defeat.Charlie Chaplin, actor, director

"Chas. Chaplin". Actor Charlie Chapl...

“Chas. Chaplin”. Actor Charlie Chaplin seated at desk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Confidence in ourselves is an important part of attracting our best life. As soon as we have a goal in mind, our confidence tells us we can reach it. ‘Go on,’ it says. ‘You can do it.’ What a lovely, friendly voice to have inside our head, supporting and cheering us on.

We strive to cast out that other voice—the nasty, discouraging one that speaks with a snide tone and snorts disdain at our plans to better ourselves. Let’s make a pact together that, no matter what, we will never let that horrible voice cross the threshold of our brain ever again.

Think of that negative voice as a ghastly, mean-spirited thug that keeps knocking on your front door. Would you allow that creep into your home? No, of course not. Keep the discouraging words out of your head. Fill your mind with ‘I can do this.’ Make it impossible to sabotage your goal. The good news is that while your ‘home’ is crowded to the rafters with the positive words, no room exists for the grumpy voice to squeeze inside.

Why shouldn’t we be confident? The main reason is because we listen to that nasty voice way too much. Stop it! Make a choice. Tell yourself every day, ‘I am my greatest strength; I have all the resources I need to complete this goal. I am an amazing individual.’ Lighten up and get a kick out of yourself for being victorious over those useless, negative thoughts.

For just one day discard every negative thought and replace it with a positive one. And make sure you smile while you’re thinking these wonderful thoughts. At the end of the day, you’ll feel much better, and will probably decide to be positive again the next day, and the next. It’s your choice.  Choose the positive; have fun; it’s that simple.

Now that we’re confident and we believe in ourselves, let’s create the goal.

If we assume we know ourselves pretty well, we’re not going to make goals that are unreasonable and impractical. Start with something manageable that you think you can actually attain. The more goals you reach, the more confident you become.

I knew very little about gardening, but when I moved into my new house three years ago, I decided to try building a vegetable garden in my backyard. I started my quest with a shovel and a rake. The physical labor was a surprise, but I kept it up: ‘I can do this.’

After clearing the patch of its weeds, I noticed my neighbor waving at me from our fence. We got talking, and she gave me suggestions for creating good soil, and advised me on the best veggies for our area. I took my list to our local garden center and got more friendly tips.

gardenBy the end of May, I had my baby plants lined up in rows, waiting to grow big and get harvested. As the greenery spread, I saw florets turning into zucchini and squash, tomatoes ripening on the vines, and kale rising tall as a ten-year-old child. Fresh food from my first garden made its way a few yards to the kitchen table. What a thrill! I set a reasonable goal, did the leg work, reaped the rewards, and made new friends.

My garden goal may not be as dramatic an example as Charlie Chaplin’s dream of being a famous actor, but I had succeeded in keeping that positive voice in my head.

“The possibilities of creative effort connected with the subconscious mind are stupendous and imponderable. They inspire one with awe.”—Napoleon Hill

The prefix ‘sub’ means under or below. Let’s imagine the subconscious, therefore, as a vast body of water teeming with life. We mustn’t imagine fish or reptiles: we need to see bubbles full of images, millions of images that we’ve been throwing overboard for years.

In our conscious mind, we’re on the surface, splashing around and making waves. Our actions and thoughts on the surface keep dropping into our subconscious like raindrops on a grey day. These raindrops, full of our thoughts, mindlessly enter the depths of our subconscious. Most of us aren’t paying attention to what we’re sending into our subconscious, and this ‘mental junk’ could be hindering us from having our best life, so we might want to take some responsibility and rethink our relationship with our subconscious.Image

The subconscious has phenomenal power. Wouldn’t it be great if we could direct that power? This part of our mind has no ability to analyze or deduce: it doesn’t filter or comment on what garbage fills its expanse; it absorbs without question every thought bubble it receives. This can be a tremendous advantage. The subconscious is like our private genie in a bottle. It never argues with our choice of desires. Our wish is its command. The disadvantage is obvious: think mental junk and it will produce more of the same. What we think most about, we will attract, so let’s make it good.

If we feel something deeply, and we desire it with sincerity and belief, we can impress the subconscious to create our desires in the external world. Before we make this attempt, however, we need to know ourselves well. I will never be a ballerina or a fashion model. I couldn’t run hurdles in school because my legs are too short; consequently, I’m not going to program my subconscious to get me a dancing, prancing, or jumping job. This would be pointless and a waste of time. What then is the best way to harness the power of our minds?

First we give our subconscious a suggestion. This can be general or specific. You choose. Suggestions like ‘I am happy,’ ‘I am healthy,’ or ‘I am experiencing financial abundance’ are excellent choices, but sometimes we can be less sublime and more ridiculous.

For instance, years ago, when I was living in San Francisco and first learning about the power of the mind, I read that the subconscious is most vulnerable just before we go to sleep. This is because our conscious mind is tired from a day’s worth of splashing and swimming. As the conscious mind settles down, we gain access to the big pool. We can slip below the surface and speak to it and it will hear us, without judgment or critique.

Before I went to sleep, those many years ago, I tried an experiment, a rather silly one, but I was young. My eyes were closed and my bedroom was quiet. I whispered to my subconscious that I was meeting a man named Michael. I picked a generic name to make it easier. After repeating this suggestion, I fell asleep. When I awoke, I had forgotten my experiment, which was probably a good thing.sleep

We need to allow our higher selves (the superconscious) to guide us to the best possible outcome.

Later that morning, I was at work and was just popping outside to get a snack when a man got on the elevator with me. We smiled. He said, ‘ I’ve seen you in the courtyard before. Do you work in the building?’ I said I did. He put out his hand for me to shake and said, ‘My name’s Michael. I’m a lawyer on the fourth floor.’

What!? I was momentarily stunned of course because I’d forgotten my experiment, but suddenly I remembered what I’d done the night before. Fortunately, I recovered quickly and we had a pleasant chat. Nothing major resulted from this meeting: we just always said hi whenever we bumped into each other. I’m not recommending this to anyone, but I was still learning and testing the system.

Needless to say, I was definitely ‘inspired with awe.’