The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, April 11, 2014

Secret Formula 4/11/14

The Secret Formula 4/11

Goals X Faith X Action X Gratitude = Results

The term “Faith” is used in two different senses

1) the belief that your goal is POSSIBLE and APPROPRIATE, and that your efforts will bring you more pleasure and decrease pain.

2) The belief that you have greater resources than those contained within your ego-self.

Both are critical, for different reasons.  I don’t believe in lazy people (in the sense of “he’s too lazy to get a job/exercise/etc).  I believe in people without motivating goals (there’s nothing I’d get out of doing that), conflicting values that paralyze, or conflicting beliefs that say the goal is out of reach, or toxic, or wrong in some way.   Or, they believe that the attempt to reach the goal will cause more pain than pleasure.   IF you can clearly see and feel the positive value of the action, if it matches your self-image, if you have an efficient and effective plan to reach it YOU BELIEVE IN, and you associate pleasure with doing it and pain with NOT doing it?   I think you’d be doing it.  And have never seen an exception to this.  Ever.

The second interpretation of “Faith” is more standard.  In the Hero’s Journey, the way through the “Dark Night of the Soul” is called the “Leap of Faith”.    The “Dark Night” is just the moment at which it feels that all of your skills and strengths and resources are insufficient to reach your goal.   You have reached ego-limit.

“Faith” here relates to one of three things:
1) Faith in Self.    In other words, even though you have “emptied yourself out” you trust that you can grow, or have hidden strengths, or that Tomorrow Is Another Day.  You look back over your life and see countless times you saw no way to succeed, felt exhausted and depressed...and succeeded anyway.  You will fight to the last drop of blood.  People like that are VERY hard to stop.

2)  Faith in Companions.  The only known way to compensate for lack of ability is the Mastermind.  Friends, family, co-workers, coaches, etc.  You trust that you are part of a team, and that they will be there to catch you when you fall.

3) Faith in a Higher Power.    Typically, this is belief in a benevolent God.  But it could also be a sense that the universe “makes sense”.  Or that there are patterns of action in nature that reward the positive.  Or the rhythms of life can be sensed like a surfer understands tides and waves.  “For every thing there is a time.”  It doesn’t matter.    

You may have noticed that a disproportionate percentage of high-performing, champion folks, when interviewed, will attribute their success to something other than themselves.  They thank their coaches, families, teammates. They “did it” for their dying mother, their country, or school. They “know” that they could never have done it but for answered prayers.

Whatever you may think about the arena of Faith, it seems a very, very powerful ally in accessing deep wells of skill and energy and courage when all seems lost.   And if you can find something to believe in that is bigger and deeper than your ordinary sense of self, you too will be able to keep going through the “Dark Nights”.  And the combined wisdom of all world cultures suggests that on the other side of the “Leap of Faith” everything you’ve ever wanted, needed, or deserved.



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