Personal Development

Magic vs Hard work: A 2-pronged, 3-Step approach

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Change your thoughts, change your life. I love"”LOVE"”this title. But how many of us actually believe it? Moreover, how many of us have ever tried it? As in, literally tried to change our entire life by simply changing our thinking?

In this post, I will give you a simple 3-step guide for doing just that. But first a word from the naysayers.

There are those that say, "first you have to pay your dues," or even the oft-quoted, "it takes 5 years of sustained activity."

They're not bad, as sayings go, and in fact they're not even technically wrong. It does take some people that long. But that doesn't have to be your time-line. Yet, even the experts tell us something similar.

For example, Maslow's Pyramid says basically that we must make a steady, upward climb in order to reach our transcendence, and I can see his point. Transcendence is up, after all.

Freud agrees with the sentiment, saying, "A man with a toothache cannot be in love." In other words fix one, then move up to the other. Even Clausewitz has said, "look first to your base and you will find freedom."

The problem is that, to a certain extent, they're right. Yes. I said "problem." You see, if we head in that direction and start believing that there is a battle ahead, then a battle is what we will face. Thoughts become things.

Yet if we suffer from "magical thinking" and flutter around instead, then if a battle comes, we end up being caught unprepared.

Not only that but fluttering around with no plan is the fastest train to nowhere.

What do we do, then, and who do we believe? Do we work hard or do we just believe in magic? If you have been reading this blog for some time, then you already know that the answer is both.

Step One: you need a plan

. . . and not because the magic of belief and all things spiritual are fake. They're not fake. They're real enough. As real as any of us, I suppose. (I agree with De Chardin in that we are not human beings who can have a spiritual experience, but that we are spiritual beings who are having a human experience.)

Hollywood's Law of Attraction, and Daily Affirmations, and Vision Boards are all great"”and so is Reiki, for that matter. Yes, I know some of you are rolling your eyes at the Reiki Monster. That's normal, but hear me out.

Equally effective for having the life of your dreams is years of hard work, setting SMART Goals, having Mastermind Groups, and even serving time doing Internships. Two camps, that for many people are diametrically opposed. But as it turns out, they're not different at all. In fact not only are they best buds, they both work for the exact same reason and both of them will get you what you want in the same amount of time.

How it works

I struggled with this for awhile because I wanted my thinking to just make it work, somehow. I wanted the magic. The reason I missed it for all those years is the step one I mentioned above: You need a plan, and you need to implement it.

Reiki works because it is a system. Just like McDonalds. If someone is out sick, another person can be trained to make fries in five minutes. Systems don't fail or call in sick. People do.

Reiki works the same way helicopter pilots take off each day. The have a checklist written down and they follow it for each and every lift-off. And so they live to fly another day. Vision boards are there to be looked at, just as SMART Goals are there to be looked at. See a pattern? Create your plan and then follow it.

Science now proves that what you think about every day will literally rewire your brain to think about those things faster and more often. If you study success, you will become successful. If you intern for years you will learn the ropes incredibly well. If you work your plan, you will arrive at your destination, provided"”and this is a big one"”that your plan was on target to begin with.

This is where a mentor comes in. To be good at something, model someone who is already doing well at it, or who already has the life you wish to have.

I know it takes the magic out of it, and that isn't my goal. So for those of you in the magic camp, let me bring you back into the fold.

Step two: Miracles

In A Course in Miracles, it says, "To be in the Kingdom is merely to focus your full attention on it. You must be willing to perceive nothing else." I have used this to literally change things in my life immediately. If you can break down those two sentences into their component parts you will have a tool for manifesting, the likes of which you have never before seen. This has worked amazingly for me. It has saved my life, even.

Where I have found trouble with this system is that I forget to use it often enough. On the other hand, where I have found success with this system is where I have literally erased any concept of the "real" world and held on only to this. And I have done so with startling results. Here is an example.

Once while driving with my small daughter in the front seat, I hit a mattress in the road that dropped from a truck. My car spun and careened towards the railing. I had only one thought. I held my little girl's hand as she looked at me frightened. I said I love you, honey. We'll be okay.

We were both fine, though the car wrapped around a telephone pole and the airbags inflated, and the engine was disloged, and … Well, you get the idea.

I saw nothing else but that answer. Nothing else. The same when I first met my wife. I saw only the possibility that we will marry. I knew she was the one. She is now my wife. But those are easy. Why? They took only the initial say-so and they happened? Or did they?

My wife and I didn't marry until years later. But it was the never-ending belief in the outcome that brought us there. The same is true in business. I wanted Stan Lee to write the foreword for my book. I did not know him and I was self-published. His company NEVER allows that. I wasn't even famous. And yet, I knew it could happen.

In fact, I will offer a challenge to the readers of this blog. In the comments below write down one goal that you will commit to, and for those that do so in the next 7 days, I will help you reach it. No tricks. No charge. Simple belief and simple hard work. The only thing I ask is that you suspend your belief for a moment that things are beyond your control. They are not beyond your control"”unless you say they are.

Step 3: You need both (and here is the proof)

Where are we now? Hopefully we have made our plan and now we have to literally be willing to perceive nothing else. Easier said than done, surely. Here is the best way I can suggest for you to do that. Practice!

The reason Les Brown said you don't get what you want, you get what you are, is because you have to be in it constantly. Have you ever heard that the person who gets the promotion is the one who has already been doing the job and just not being paid for it? Why? Because they made it their reality.

Jimmy Stewart said that he played a role once that was Jimmy Stewart and people liked it so much that he just kept playing it. He made it who he was. He did that every day.

Tony Robbins says we don't get our wants, we get our musts. He says we will fight tooth-and-nail to live up to what we have told ourselves our story was. In other words, we make it who we are and we live that every day.

This is what you must now do. Once your plan is made and grounded in the real world, you can now let the magic in and know, not believe, but know that it will happen for you. You of course deserve it. You will of course receive it. You have to now believe it.

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About the author

Sage Michael

Wisdom Times Editor-in-Chief, Sage is also a reformed Life Coach, current Host of Television's Beyond Geek and author of How to Become a SuperHero: The Ultimate Guide to the Ultimate You!, a life-changing book that so far has peaked at number 6 on Amazon.