Aha moments come in all shapes and sizes. They can be a tiny spark of imagination or they can be earth-shattering epiphanies. I would say that my recent Aha moment fell somewhere toward the latter part of the spectrum.
The other day I was multitasking my way through my to-do list with the TV in the background intent on keeping one ear open for Oprah’s Lifeclass. I know that some of you may have stopped reading right there and began rolling your eyes. Well, knock it off. It’s a great show.
Anyway, this particular episode, “Lesson Three: You Become What You Believe,” featured several celebrities who have followed their belief in themselves because they knew that, above everything, they were meant to succeed in their chosen field. One of these people is Jim Carrey. During the show he talked about an innate sense of inner knowing about his future success. He speaks about it in terms of visualization, but I believe its much bigger than that. It was divine guidance (inner knowing) combined with his willingness to follow it and trust it that allowed him to gain success. He had the dream, he saw it and he followed his gut (aka divine guidance/inner knowing) to take the steps to get him where he needed to go.
And here’s the Aha moment; he said, “You can’t just visualize it and then go eat a sandwich.” This is the difference between Jim Carrey and people who have not successfully employed their favorite self-help (read: law of attraction) teachings. Once you have that vision, you have to act on it from a place of divine inspiration.
Very successful contemporary books and movies will have the average person believe that they can simply sit down for an hour every day and think about how they can become millionaires and then POOF, they’re rich. Yes, the Universe wants you to have everything you desire and more, but it doesn’t work like that.
Why? Here’s why:
1. The ego gets in the way during visualization
No, seriously. It does. When all you do is sit and visualize the life you want, you often pull those desires from a place of ego, meaning superficial. In order to get the ego out of the way, you need to think about what it would mean to you to have the life you want (my own lifecoach, Susan Hamilton, asks me this all the time). It could mean security, freedom, financial stability or health. Think about what having the life you want would actually mean to you. When you do this, it comes from a place of divine inspiration. You’re thinking about things that make you excited, you’re igniting your passion, you’re following your bliss. The inspiration to take the next step (e.g., get off the couch and stop eating that sandwich) will naturally come from there.
2. Visualization is extremely limited
Think about this for a second – how many times have you heard someone who appears to be very fortunate proclaim, “This is beyond my wildest dreams?” I know I’ve lost count. If these people had limited their desires to just what they could imagine in that limited moment from a limited perspective, they would have gotten a limited outcome. Visualization engages the human mind (the ego mind) and tends to neglect the presence of things like miracles or things that it has not already experienced (which, are often miracles). It also prevents us from focusing on our inner excitement. Inner excitement is just a hyper version of intuition. Following that excitement means that you’re following your intuition (remember: divine guidance). Following that intuition will lead you down the path of success and enable you to find you’re life’s work or life’s passion.
3. Visualization causes you to focus only on the ending
During Lesson Three of Oprah’s Lifeclass, Jim Carrey also said that he wrote himself a $10 million check and post-dated it three years. In three year’s time, he found out that he was going the be making $10 million on his next movie. This is an amazing story, and I’m sure that a lot of people watching that show got out their checkbooks and did the very same thing. But here’s what I think is really going on. Jim Carrey didn’t put that check in his wallet and pine over it for three years wondering when he could cash it. He did the very thing that was going to be making him the $10 million because, really, it wasn’t simply about the money. Having that money meant he was a successful actor and that he was living his true passion and the highest expression of himself. The money was simply symbolic of that passion and that success. He wasn’t focused on the endgame, which was the check. He was focused on getting up everyday and working at his craft because he knew innately that that was what he was meant to do.
So what does all of this mean? It means you need to stop simply visualizing a way to make the Universe bend to your will. Don’t visualize yourself being a successful writer and then never write. Don’t visualized that recording contract and then never sing. First, think about, and I mean REALLY think about, what having the life you want will mean. Will it mean that you are stable, healthy, famous or an astronaut, singer, actor or writer? What will it MEAN to you? Once you get clear on what it means to you, you will get clear on what you NEED to do. You will get inspired to move in one way or another. Trust that. You will be building faith in yourself and faith in the ability to manifest the things in your life that are truly meaningful to you.
Love and Light,