Making Things Happen

Living Well

When I became a single parent, my three sons and I moved into a temporary rental that turned out to be infested with mice. And everyone involved told me that there was no way to get rid of them, because everything had been tried.

It was so bad that my sons would laugh at the mice running across the kitchen counter, in the daytime! One night, I woke up to movement in my bed, I jerked back the sheet, and there was a mouse lying next to me. That was it!

I began telling the mice in my thoughts that they had to leave, because I was going to resort to traps. And I didn’t doubt that they heard me. I gave them three days. Then I set the first trap. And in the middle of the night, I heard the snap!

In the morning, I put the poor thing in the kitchen trash. Who really knows what to do with a dead mouse? Then along came my son, and when he saw the mouse, he was super upset. So I told him that it had committed suicide by jumping into the trashcan.

Here’s the good news. We never encountered another mouse after that first one. The rest left.

Accomplishing goals requires becoming the essence of the objective.

When we want to move from point A to point B, we’ll need to define B and relate with it to the point of identifying with it. It could be more money, a bigger home, a more meaningful job, weight loss, healthier relationships, a great love. Whatever it is, we have to vibe with it in order to make it happen.

To get rid of the mice, I had to become my objective, which was a person who didn’t have mice in the house anymore. And I was there in my mind before I was there in my experience. But first, I had to get a handle on my thoughts.

Change requires new thoughts.

In the 80s, I attended a weekend workshop with peak-performance coach, Tony Robbins. He began the first evening by saying to the audience, “Do what you’ve always done, and you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.”

And then he invited us to do something unique and extraordinary – to join him in a fire walking experience, by walking on a bed of burning coals.

In the end, my sons and I walked down 12-foot beds of hot coals a combined total of 24 times. And the takeaway for me was: Think and act differently today. Otherwise, nothing will change.

To assure that we’re not just doing what we’ve always done, we need to figure out what we want for our future and then let that fuel whatever we think, believe, say and do. It’s called singleness of purpose. No looking back, no doubting, no losing focus – so we don’t end up somewhere else.

And when we’re on our way from point A to point B, there’s no problem in not being there yet. As long as we keep looking at B and not A. Because when we look at A, we go back to A.

When we’ve picked our destination and we’re on the way, it doesn’t help to complain that we’re not there yet, because it only amplifies what we don’t want. If our focus is stuck on point A – such as when we complain about problems, whine about injustice, gossip about our colleagues, or argue ineffectively with our partners – stuck is where we’ll stay.

Focusing on where we are or where we’ve been, instead of where we want to go, doesn’t move us forward. But when we stay focused on point B, it’s impossible to not get there.

Trying harder is not the key.

We sometimes think that if we stop struggling, we’ll become weak, as if force equals strength. But that’s not our true power. The goal is to relax rather than effort, and to be, in preparation for doing. Tough stuff in today’s fast-paced action-filled goal-oriented world.

When I walked across the burning coals, my goal was to get to the end safely. The first thing I did was relax, by dropping fear, resistance, doubt and worry. I focused on being successful, which meant being safe and well at the other end of the fire. I had a clear vision that I wanted to move toward, and I felt an inner-knowing that it was all good.

During a fire walk experience, it’s vital to be relaxed and confident, and to have a deep sense of knowing that everything will turn out OK. And the same can be said for life.

Getting clear means knowing our why.

We’re always moving toward a future that we’re causing. So it’s important to regularly ask ourselves, “Does what I have set in motion match what I want? Or am I moving toward something I don’t want?”

Why do we do what we do? What do we talk about most passionately? What would we stand up for without compromise? What causes us to feel good, authentic, fulfilled and inspired?

When we get clear about our why, our what and our how can fall into place.

Making things happen takes self-belief.

Manifesting what we want requires setting clear goals, choosing supportive thoughts, and believing that it’s possible and that we deserve it.

When my oldest son was four years old, I hung a star made from sticks above his bed. We would lie there, staring at it, and – believe it, or not – we would use our minds to make it turn. I believed in the possibility, and he didn’t yet believe in the impossibility. And that’s how we made it happen.

The goal is to have a disciplined mind that can focus on positive conditions, without distraction or doubt. Not that I have a hugely disciplined mind. Some days, I’m all over the place. But I know how to change channels in my head and to choose what I want to think about – and the good stuff always feels better.

On the whole, I’m having a pretty amazing life. And I was there in my mind before I was there in my experience.


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Author, Blogger, Contributor to Thrive Global, The Good Men Project, InspireMore and HuffPost