It has been said that nothing in the world has ever been created without a thought initiating the process.
Thomas Edison made hundreds of attempts at the light bulb before he found success. When asked why he kept persevering, he replied, “For each attempt that failed and was discarded, it put me one step closer to the one experiment that would succeed.” For each thought, each belief, that created a reality that wasn’t quite right, a new thought took its place, creating a better reality.
We’ve all heard of these success-from-failure stories and they often help to motivate us to try our personal best, to keep persevering. But how can we keep trying in the face of overwhelming odds? How do we get past the negative beliefs, the distractions, the lack of support from our family and friends? What can we do when we’re tired of trying? What if we don’t know what our soul wants?
Your thoughts do create your reality, and in learning to modify your old, entrenched thought patterns, you can modify your reality. There are three ways to modify our thoughts. First, changing your attitudes and beliefs about your current reality often shifts your focus and awareness so that you can begin to find peace in your life. Second, creating an image or thought of the new reality you want to create and keep that in focus as you go about your day. Third, through psychotherapy, gain insight into the birth of the thought and heal it.
The first step in creating your own reality is to determine which reality you’re looking for. Often we don’t reach our dreams because we never have a clear idea of what dreams are the most important to us. What is it you want most in this lifetime? Vital good health? A loving and supportive mate? Success in your business or career? A nice home? Spiritual enlightenment? Freedom from emotional turmoil? An opportunity to study with a master?
Whether your dreams are physical, emotional or spiritual, first write a list of what you want. You may find that you want something in each of those categories. In writing your list, be specific. Instead of writing “a good marriage,” be specific: what specific actions and emotions are you looking for in your definition of a good marriage? In place of “good health,” you might write “freedom from arthritic pain” or “more energy.”
Don’t feel pressured to write the list all in one sitting; take some time to allow things to bubble up from your soul. Organize the list in any way you’d like, but make sure you determine which items are more important to you than the others. You may want to write the list, then take a few days to think about it. Finally, review it one last time, re-arrange priorities, or adding and subtracting items as needed.
Because your needs and life situation may change, your list will remain flexible and will change as time goes by. Try to remain open to these changes, even if it means rearranging your list of dreams. Perhaps a simple, mild change to an item is all that is necessary in order to keep up with the times.
Work The Plan
Now that you have a list, the next step is to determine a means of visualizing or imagining that outcome, and putting that image out into the Universe, so that the Universe can, in time, manifest the events and resources to create that outcome in your physical world. In putting our wishes out into the Universe, and doing internal work to change our thoughts and beliefs, we set in motion the intention for a better life.
Does this mean you don’t have to do anything? Hardly. Each of us must take personal responsibility for attaining our happiness. While I firmly believe the Universe can help us manifest our dreams, we must be ready and willing to do whatever is physically necessary to move us in the right direction. As Goethe said, “Until one is committed, there is hesitating, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: The moment one definitely commits oneself, 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 come his way.” But it’s up to you to use those “incidents and meetings and materials” in order to complete the plan.