The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The "Secret Formula" 4-12-14


“In every job that’s to be done, there is an element of fun.  Find the fun and poof!  The job’s a game!”--M. Poppins.

The third part of this deceptively simple formula is “constant action.”  In truth, this is the major flaw I see in people who practice “The Secret.”   The ones who fail, without exception thought that wanting something, visualizing it or chanting goals would produce a miracle.

No.   YOU  are the miracle.    A farmer cannot pray over a field that has not been ploughed and planted, and expect wheat.  Even if he does everything right, a tornado can tear up his field, the locusts may come, the rain may withhold its blessing.   And he will have to dry his tears, stifle his curses, pull up his big-boy pants and try again.     That’s the biz.

There are no guarantees of success. But there ARE guarantees of failure.  Taking no action, or insufficient action, is one of them.   Let’s put it another way: if your goals aren’t exciting and motivating enough to get you off the couch, off your butt, and hitting it hard morning til night, what the #$%% makes you think they’re strong enough to make the Universe respond?

The bad news is that that Universe doesn’t care.  At this very moment, wolves are ripping rabbits to pieces in woods all over the world...and all is well.

The good news is that the Universe doesn’t care.  It isn’t going to go out of its way to stop you from getting what you want.  In fact, with bizarre consistency, those who arrange their lives so that they don’t NEED luck (it’s nice not to have “bad” luck, but “good” luck isn’t necessary) are the ones who get stupendously lucky.

When you don’t have a job, you can’t get a job, until you’ve got a job, and then everybody offers you work.  When you don’t have a lover, you can’t get one, until you’ve got one, and then your phone starts ringing.  When you’re broke, you can’t get a loan, until you’ve got money, at which point everyone wants to extend credit.

It is perverse.  Get over it--it’s just the way it works.

So define your daily activities so that, if you work your butt off, you can accomplish steps that will lead you to your goal. Set it up so you need no “luck”, and ask for no “help” from others you are not willing to make fair trade for.  Re-write and clarify your goals and motivations until you associate GREAT pleasure with accomplishing them, and REAL pain to failing to act.

Seek flow in your daily actions, so that you gain pleasure FROM YOUR DAILY WORK, rather than when you reach that distant goal.  Right here, right now, pleasure.  Every day. Every moment.  THIS IS YOUR LIFE.  If you postpone pleasure, you might get hit by a car on your way across the street to cash that check. And won’t you feel a fool, lying there realizing you put off your life, and now it’s over?   But if you apply your intelligence you will find ways to take joy in every moment of the work, either for its own sake, or because you are learning and growing, or contributing to others.

ENJOY YOUR LIFE NOW.   Bring 100% of what you have, every day, to the blissful effort of going deeper into your two questions: “who am I?” and “what is true?”

Every day.  Divide your long-term goals into pieces, and fulfill 1% every week.  How do you eat an elephant?  One forkful at a time.

Every day.  Constant action.  The person who makes ten times as many mistakes as you do, AND LEARNS FROM EVERY ONE, AND SEEKS NEVER TO REPEAT AN ERROR, will out-perform you so fast it will make your head spin.

You don’t have to whistle while you work, but you do have to work.  And it is then, when you have a clear goal, faith in your efforts, and are totally flowing with constant focused effort…

That is when the gremlins who mess up other people’s plans start saying: “damn!  This girl is serious!   Let’s go mess with someone with less grit.”

And people will start saying: “wow!   He’s lucky.”

And you will laugh at them, and cry for them, just a little.   And continue down your road.   And it is often a lonely road.  Most people think that magic is something outside themselves, something they can call on.

No. Magic is something you embody, or it is nothing at all.


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