I had to think twice to include a particular book in my list of 12 life-changing books. That book is Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain.
I studied science in the high school, mathematics in the college, and computer science in the graduate school. So, I’m skeptical about metaphysical concepts like the Law of Attraction (LOA). Even though some ideas in the LOA literature sound like nonsense, others make sense to me.
If the basic premise is to create something in your mind first and then realize it in the world, that makes sense to me.
If it means thinking about your dream the whole day without doing anything about it and expecting it to manifest itself in your life, I don’t think it’s realistic.
There are two observations that I made over the years that increased the credibility of the idea with me.
- We are more capable than we believe.
- The universe is more resourceful than we believe.
When I talk about the universe, I don’t mean a metaphysical entity like God. I mean everything around us, people, Internet, economy, and so on.
Let me give you an example to illustrate the two observations above.
When I first started to work as a software developer in the industry, I was overwhelmed by the tasks that I received. I believed that those tasks were beyond my skill set.
Then I started to divide those tasks into smaller problems, which is an effective problem-solving method.
The Solutions Are Out There
I’d look for solutions to those smaller problems. Most of the time, I’d find a solution in the existing codebase of the company or on the Internet via Google. This is what I mean by the second observation: the universe is more resourceful than we believe.
After solving a few tasks like that, I realized that I was more capable than I initially believed, which is the first observation.
Did the solution manifest itself? No, I had to work on it. At the same time, I created something that I first thought to be impossible. In the end, the whole process seemed magical.
After completing a few tasks like that, I realized that I’m capable and the universe is resourceful. I didn’t feel overwhelmed by development assignments anymore.
The first observation is also the fundamental principle of personal development and the topic of the book Mindset by Carol Dweck. The idea is that we can develop the necessary skill set if we make an effort.
Another idea that is hidden in both observations is the idea of limiting beliefs.
How motivated would you be if you worked on a goal that you didn’t believe you could achieve?
Not much, wouldn’t you?
Our thoughts and actions are based on our beliefs. If we don’t believe that we can accomplish a particular goal, we won’t think about how to realize it and not act toward its achievement.
If a belief is inaccurate and keeps us from taking action toward a positive outcome, I’d call it a limiting belief.
We’re better off letting go of those limiting beliefs.
How do we find out our limiting beliefs?
Shakti Gawain has an exercise to find out our limiting beliefs in her book Creative Visualization. It’s a journaling exercise.
On the top of the page, you write “The reason I can’t realize my goal is …” and list all the reasons that you can come up with. Those are your limiting beliefs about your goal.
Sometimes, you let go of a limiting belief just by becoming aware of it. This happens when the belief is too irrational.
Sometimes, you have to work on it. You can work on it by testing it in the real world, like the way I had to find out that I could complete the development jobs that I thought to be outside of my capabilities.
Visualizing your goal increases the probability of achieving it.
As I explained in yesterday’s post, numerous programs are running in your mind. Most of those programs were installed there without your conscious choice. They don’t serve you or your goals. They keep your mind busy and steal its processing power, which is a valuable resource.
By visualizing your goal, you install new programs that work toward your goal. You increase the percentage of your processing power allocated to your goal.
You become more sensitive to all the ideas that serve your goals. You start to perceive the opportunities that you would otherwise miss.
Your mind starts to work on your goal even when you don’t consciously pay attention to it. As a result, you make significant progress toward your goal.
Even though the Law of Attraction seems nonsensical on the surface, it has some relevant points if you look carefully.
First of all, we are more capable, and the universe is more resourceful than we believe. It’s our job to find out and let go of our limiting beliefs.
By visualizing our goals, we increase our probability of achieving them. We program our minds to work more on our goals and be more sensitive to the ideas, solutions, and opportunities that serve our goals.
As a result, we achieve feats that seemed impossible before. That feels like magic at the beginning. As we get used to it, we understand how reality works and use it whenever we want.
Software developer with a Ph.D. and 15 years of experience. I write daily on personal development and life lessons. Sign up to my email newsletter to receive a weekly overview of my latest content on personal development and life lessons.