“All things are created twice. There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things.” – Stephen R. Covey, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”
Thoughts create things.
The device you are using to read this first existed as a concept in someone’s mind. These words first existed in mine. Take a look around and literally everywhere you’ll see ideas that originated within a mind.
Envision biting into a juicy and sour lemon. Did you notice your body reacted as if it was actually tasting the lemon? This is thought creating feelings, sensations, and even new molecules within your body.
Thoughts and feelings send signals in our brains that simultaneously pass through and create neural bundles, and these connections can double in number in just one hour of repeated inner stimulation.
This triggers gene expression, which triggers the synthesis of proteins in our cells. These, in turn, produce electrical and magnetic fields which can be measured by MRIs and EEGs.
So, we can say that thoughts not only create things, but that thoughts ARE things. Things you produce, consciously or unconsciously, all the time. Even in your sleep.
A Complete Definition of Success
Having a powerful life vision that you experience in your mind (seeing it, feeling it) impacts your life and body in clear and tangible ways in the present.
This vision, consisting of thought, creates things. Focus, inspiration, confidence and joy are just a few of those things.
What would a 1% increase in focus, inspiration, confidence and joy do for you and your work/business? What about 10%? 100%? 1000%?
These numbers might be entirely possible for you. (Is your mind open to that?)
Creating a powerful life vision means crafting your complete definition of success. Ideally this is a definition that pushes you to break through some of your old programming and limiting beliefs. If not, your future will simply be a repetition of your past.
We can call that your default future. It may look somewhat different but it won’t feel like it (because you haven’t fundamentally changed your mind).
What we are looking for is your “created” future. And the best way to predict the future is to create it yourself. To “predict” your future, start by regularly asking yourself:
“What do I really want?”
Get yourself into a state of not-knowing, where genuine insight can occur, and contemplate that question as if for the first time. Take this question to a meditation or take it for a nice long walk. See what comes up for you.
Next, get more granular by asking yourself what you want to see happen in the following areas of your life:
- Health and well-being
- Social life
- Business and career
- Personal growth
- Skills and knowledge
When you’ve listed everything that comes up, ask yourself the question:
“AND what else do I want?”
That “and” can make a big difference.
John F. Kennedy made a famous speech in 1961 that’s often cited to demonstrate the power of vision. In it, he envisioned that by the end of the decade America would send a man to the moon.
What he actually said was, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon AND returning him safely back to earth.”
The two visions:
- Land a man on the moon
- Land a man on the moon and bring him safely back to earth
are entirely different projects. They have different goals and require different tactics.
A vision to “be wealthy” is very different from “be wealthy AND healthy AND happy.”
- Now go through your list and for each item investigate:Why do I want this?
- What’s the feeling that I think having this would give me?
Your destination might be closer than you think.
Why do so many of us find it difficult to create a powerful life vision?
Typically we run into one or more of the following four blockers:
- Cultural programming – We’ve been trained early to find answers from a limited range of options (text book answers, multiple choice tests, choosing which school to go to, what city to live in, etc.)
- Fear and limiting beliefs – I don’t have what it takes to make it, I don’t deserve it, it’ll be too painful or too hard, etc.
- Atrophied imagination – Many of us were taught that dreaming is bad. (“He’s a bit of a dreamer isn’t he?”; “Don’t be so naïve!”; “Get out of your own head!”) Or we’ve largely stopped using our imagination creatively (except to worry and catastrophize …)
- Perfectionism – We pressure ourselves to come up with a perfect notion of a vision that is crystal clear and timeless so we’ll never have to think about it again.
Become conscious of how you get in your own way, because you can’t leave a place you’ve never been.
So, thoughts create things.
Between the ways thoughts become things and the ways thoughts can never become things, there is a huge grey area. It’s in this space, this creative field, pregnant with possibility, where you’ll realize your fullest potential.
“If we did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” – Thomas Edison