Miracles do not, in fact, break the laws of nature.C.S. Lewis
As we approach the end of another, what many would call, tumultuous year, a lot of us are looking for 2022 to be our savior. We’re hopeful that the new year will bring better news, stronger finances, healthy relationships (with others and ourselves), a better job (or just a job in general), peace, relief, health…I could list things here for hours. My point for this letter is that all of that will be true or none of it will, but it’s not out of your control. In fact, letting go of your very control is what will almost certainly guarantee another year just like the one coming to an end…and a multitude of the others before it.
Let’s shift gears for a second…
Have you ever bought a car, driven it off the lot, and suddenly notice the exact model and color of the car you bought is EVERYWHERE! You never noticed this before. Did all of these people suddenly have the same idea and rush to get the same car just to be as cool as you? Not quite. (Sorry to be the bearer of bad news there. You’re not that cool.) BUT…something DID happen. Something inside you, that you were totally unaware of, changed in an instant.
We’re all equipped with a collection of neurons located in our brain stem called the Reticular Activating System, or RAS. There’s plenty to read up on this (and I recommend it because it’s truly fascinating), but for the sake of time – know this: This is the part of the brain that determines what the rest of your brain focuses on. We’re bombarded with millions upon millions of pieces of information every moment of every day, and we couldn’t possibly process all of them. So the RAS, over the years, has learned what is important and what to ignore…all done subconsciously.
Since all of this happens instantly and subconsciously, you’re literally “ignoring” tons of information (or opportunities) that could be useful in certain areas of your life because you haven’t told your brain to pay attention to them. As Tony Robbins says, “energy flows where attention goes.”
To get what you really want in life, you need a clear goal that has purpose and meaning behind it.Tony Robbins
What Tony is talking about is clearly defining your goal to a level that your RAS suddenly knows it’s important and activating it in a way to notice things that will help move you closer to it. Have you ever had a time in your life where you became crystal clear about something, and all of a sudden the right people or opportunities just sorta start appearing right in front of you? This wasn’t by accident. Those people would have been (and probably had been) right in front of you regardless, but because you had turned on the part of your brain that recognizes things of importance instantly, suddenly you’re noticing them.
All of the great thought leaders basically teach the same thing – if there’s something you want or need bad enough, you’ll find a way to get it. The problem most people encounter is that there isn’t a big enough reason to achieve whatever it is. There’s a huge difference in “I’d like to lose 25 pounds” and a doctor telling you “If you don’t lose weight, you’re going to die.” Who do you think is more likely to lose the weight?
So when I started this by saying, YOU are your own Christmas miracle, what I mean is whatever it is that you’re looking for, needing, wanting, or desiring is on the other side of a big enough reason. If there’s something you’ve been chasing and it’s just not happening for you, dive back in to why you’re after it.
- Why is this truly important?
- What has not having it already cost you?
- What will it cost you by continuing to not have it?
- What would life be life if this already existed for you?
- How will it feel to know you’ve made this happen for you?
If you’ve worked for any big corporation in the last 20 years or so, you’ve probably seen the phrase “SMART goals.” (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound) Yes? The reason for this isn’t just some new HR mumbo-jumbo, it’s about defining exactly what you’re after and getting specific enough about it so that your RAS can go to work for you.
The same chemical and physical structure of the greatest pioneers throughout history exists within you.
- “You can’t win the NBA slam dunk contest if you’re under 6 ft. tall.” Tell that to Spud Webb.
- Stephen King’s first novel, Carrie, was rejected by more than 30 publishers.
- Albert Einstein didn’t even speak until he was 4 years old.
- Over 1,000 restauranteurs told Colonel Sanders he didn’t have a great chicken recipe.
- Thomas Edison failed THOUSANDS of times before successfully creating the light bulb.
- Stephen Spielberg was rejected by the USC film school…twice.
- Luther Vandross, James Brown, and Dave Chappelle were all once booed off the stage at the Apollo.
What do all of these people have in common? They knew EXACTLY what they wanted, what it would cost them if they didn’t get it, and how life would be different once they did it.
When your WHY is big enough – the how will work itself out.
If someone said “I need you to come up with $50,000 by the end of the week” you’d probably tell them it’s impossible.
If someone said “Come up with $50,000 by the end of the week or your family dies” you’d suddenly find a very different set of possibilities.
Okay…two things and I’ll let you get back to your life…
First, I say all of this to say – you have the ability to be your own “Christmas miracle” if you’ll truly dive in to what you’re truly after and WHY. Get SUPER specific. (use the questions I listed above). Once you’ve laser focused on EXACTLY what you’re after, WHY you want it, and HOW your life will be different once you’ve achieved it – write it down. Say it outloud every day. Multiple times a day. Get your RAS to do what it is designed to do and keep you pointed in the right direction.
The second thing I’ll leave you with is a poem I learned from my mentor, Les Brown. It’s by Burton Brailey and it goes like this:
If you want a thing bad enough to go out and fight for it, to work day and night for it, to give up your time, your peace and your sleep for it. If all that you dream and scheme is about it, and life is useless and worthless without it. And if you’d gladly sweat for it and fret for it and plan for it, and lose all your terror of the opposition for it.
And if you simply go after this thing that you want with all of your capacity, strength and sagacity; faith, hope, confidence and stern pertinacity. If neither cold, poverty, famine or gall, sickness and pain of body can keep you away from a thing that you want. If dogged and grim you besiege and beset it, with the help of God you’ll get it!
2022 is yours if you want it bad enough.
Peace and love.