Friday, September 18, 2009

Making your Own Reality

Ever heard of the "Law of Attraction"? The bottom line of this law is, that your thoughts and wishes shape your reality. Mostly they talk about your positive thoughts and how you will get anything, if you really really want it. But honestly, I think that also applies to any negative thoughts and fears that linger with you for a longer period of time. This hypothesis is the center piece of the 2006 book "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrnes, that I haven't read yet… But a friend of mine did an excellent job on capturing the essence of the book on a canoe trip and so I feel like I got a pretty good picture. This is a highly controversial topic and a lot of very smart people are doing a lot of discussing around this. I think of it more as an aspect how people are able to influence their own reality than a universal law, but that's just my two cents.

Nevertheless I want to share a couple of stories now and let you decide, if our own wishes or fears shaped our reality!

  • A couple of mornings a week, I get up early to get a run or nice walk with the puppy in. In this time of the year, it's still pitch black dark outside by the time I hit the road, so I am outfitted with a headlamp and even put a flashing light on the puppy. The streets in our neighborhood have long stretches of bushes and woods and even though I am not very skittish when it comes to this kind of thing, I still avoid looking into the woods/bushes with my headlamp because I just don't want to see a pair of eyes staring at me. I shared this with my BRR team before we did our night legs and we knew that those routes will go right through the woods. Fortunately, I have never seen glowing pairs of eyes… Until yesterday morning. On my first early morning walk after we were having this conversation and joked about it back and forth, I didn't see one pair of eyes, but two… In different spots. The second pair belonged to a little kitty, the first pair I didn't even investigate, because the eyes were so wide apart that I assumed it was bigger than I wanted to know.
  • Last year BF, the kid and I went to Charleston SC. One day out of the weekend, we spent on the beach. BF has this paranoia about sharks and basically refuses to swim in the ocean. I told him over and over again, that I have been to this area several times and never seen a shark. Sure enough, BF walked along the shoreline and basically just stuck his feet into the ocean, when the lifeguard instructed everyone to get out of the water and then I saw my first living shark outside of an aquarium. It was a small* one and I joked that it probably would just nibble on us a little… Still, it was a shark. This little story actually was the reason why my friend told me about the book.
* updated 9/19: Terry wanted me to correct this statement. According to him, I am largely underestimating the size of this shark.

Hmmm… All my examples are out of the animal kingdom, but I think that just shows how outdoorsy we are! :-)

  • To also have a positive example for this theory, here is one more: After I came back from by internship in England in 2000, I always said, that I want to go abroad for a longer period of time. I was sharing this desire with my family and friends, mentioned it in my job interviews, when it came to my goals and the "where do you wanna be in 5 years" type of questions, kept my English skills up to date and in general an open mind… At least that's what I want to believe. Only one year after I started with the company, a position opened up in our U.S. subsidiary and people remembered the statement I made in my interview and half a year later, I had my first day here. What I am saying is, that I never actively pursued this, but was just rather going with the flow and it positioned me in the right spot.

When you read information about racing, they also give you the advice to envision yourself crossing the finish line and what kind of feeling that this is going to give you (example here). They say that doing so, will help you stay motivated and focused in your training and eventually will help you with the mental challenges of completing a race. Once again this doesn't only apply to your athletic career, but also your professional life. It holds true to the fact that you have to work hard, stay dedicated and focused in order to succeed with any goal that you set in your life. Whatever attitude you have will shape your reality and therefore let's all try to be as positive as we can and surround ourselves with other people that have a positive vibe.

While I am writing this, I also have to give myself a little kick in the butt. Right now, I am still in the process of settling in at my BF's house. The move is just three weeks ago and of course, there are still boxes sitting around unpacked…. And of course moving in together is a whole lot of change for everyone involved that just needs some getting used to and also some time for all of us to establish a new routine. These days, I catch myself focusing on the negative a lot, like the longer commute, the increased household responsibility, the decreased privacy (I was used to live on my own for a long time) and other stuff, that I don't even what to go in detail here. Instead, I should focus on the many positive things that came with this move like, that I am able to spend a lot more time with the person I love, that we live in an area with almost endless outdoor possibilities, that the house is big enough to hold every one's stuff without the feeling to suffocate and tons and tons of other things. I guess, I have my marching orders now… I will focus on the positive changes, this move has brought into my life and that is going to help me to work through the not-so-positive ones and I believe that this is really going to make a difference in how the settling in process is going to proceed for me.

When I started this post, I really wasn't sure, what my point is going to be in the end. But while I was going with the flow, I think I found it on the way! :-)

PS: It's FRIDAY and guess what was sitting on one of the cabinets at work this morning? Of course… DONUTS!... AND…. CAKE…. I know, sometimes we go a little overboard around here!

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