I told you I tell you a story about the first “miracle” created by the SECRET FORMULA. But realized I need a bit more foundation first.
O.K., yesterday I described exactly how I “boiled down” the book THE SCIENCE OF GETTING RICH by Wallace D. Wattles to a five word formula: GOALS X FAITH X ACTION X GRATITUDE = RESULTS. It became clear that the reason I didn’t want to understand it is that I didn’t want to release my anger and resentment about being in Atlanta (due to a family emergency). There was another realization, that relates to WHY I chose this book in the first place.
In my frantic efforts to gain perspective and get my butt moving out of depression and anger, one of the bodies of knowledge I looked into was “The Secret,” a very popular success and achievement philosophy. But when I looked into it, I kept seeing people saying basically that “if you want something badly enough, focus on it strongly enough, it will be drawn to you.”
On one level I believed this, but on another level, I noticed that people seemed to think that thinking and “feeling” about it was ALL they had to do.
In other words, someone like Oprah Winfrey speaks of believing in “The Secret” and people say: “ah! She’s so successful because of her visualizations.” And because she speaks and moves with great congruence, it is easy to believe her. Well, I have no reason to believe she is lying. What then, is the disconnect?
Simple. We forget how we got where we are. Masters are often terrible at teaching beginners–they have forgotten how much they know, because in order to be able to function at the level of mastery, all basics must be integrated at the level of “unconscious competence.”
(Remember that? The pattern goes from Unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence to conscious competence to the “look Ma, no hands!” of Unconscious competence. THIS is the level you must move any skill into to reach a flow state. And only in flow state do you access your deepest wells of skill.)
So Oprah is like a woman driving a Rolls Royce down the street, steering it with one finger. A pedestrian with no money, no car, and no driving experience looks at the tiny amount of effort she uses to steer, and says: “ah! It takes no effort to travel in style. All I have to do is want it enough!” Without seeing the massive amount of work it takes to make the money to BUY the car, or the skills it takes to design and build the car, or the number of hours it takes to practice your driving so that you can steer your perfectly balanced vehicle with a single finger, with as little effort as it takes to steer a planche on a Ouija board.
YOU CANNOT GET WHERE SOMEONE IS BY DOING WHAT THEY SAY, UNLESS WHAT THEY SAY IS CONGRUENT WITH THE PATH THEY ACTUALLY WALKED.
The missing piece was ACTION. They had goals, faith, and gratitude, but not ACTION. Constant, focused ACTION with feedback from their environment and constant modeling of successful patterns. One might say that you know you have visualized your goals enough, have faith enough, IF YOU GET YOUR BUTT OFF THE COUCH. I mean, if you aren’t motivated enough to ACT, what in the world makes you think “the Universe” is going to bend and fold itself to provide your needs? So that is your measure. Your GOAL is not really clear unless it motivates you to ACT. Got it?
Well, I chose THE SCIENCE OF GETTING RICH because a few references suggested that THE SECRET had been based upon it, at least in part. And studying it, I saw the missing piece. And if I had “deleted” the entire piece about gratitude, I could easily believe that others could “delete” the information about taking action. They had extracted what they wanted to see. You know, when you were a kid, all you had to do was communicate your desire to your parents, and they might get you that bike, or take you to that movie, or buy you that ice cream cone, or give you a hug.
The adult world isn’t like that. You have to DO. Just recently, I conversed with a guy who is out of shape, and near-broke, and wonders why he cannot attract the women he is drawn to. He made it clear: “I’m only attracted to beautiful women. Gee, I used to attract them when I was younger. What’s wrong?”
Well, the biggest is that he’s not willing to meet his own standards.
Well, two things leap immediately to mind. The first is that younger people are naive. They literally don’t know how the world works as well as they will twenty years later. Another is “potential”. We love babies, despite their helplessness, because they are pure potential. But as they grow, they begin to express that potential through actions taken consistently over time. We measure older people by what they have DONE, not “what they might do in the future if they get themselves together.”
And a beautiful YOUNG woman was given a gift of nature. A beautiful MATURE woman is expressing constant actions carried out on a daily basis: creativity, discipline, self-respect, self-love, emotional health, capacity to postpone gratification, and so forth. There is nothing, in my opinion, more beautiful than a woman over 40 who has taken care of herself. Wow!
So those younger women have dreams and hopes and aspirations, and she sees him and says: “We might walk the Path together. Let’s check this out!” But the more mature woman says “My emotions, beliefs and values determine my daily behaviors. My daily behaviors have brought me to where I am. This man is not on my path and will either drain my energy trying to lift him up, or he will tear me down to his level so that he won’t be afraid of losing me.”
And want nothing to do with him. He has the nerve, in other words, to say he is attracted “to beauty” without being willing to invest the same energy and time to either increase his resources or develop his own beauty. He’s trying to “cheat” life. Doesn’t work, not long-term.
And too many people who are studying metaphysical approaches to success are also trying to “cheat.”
“I want it!” they say. “Why can’t I have it?”
“People used to say I was so talented! Why won’t they buy my stuff now?”
I promise that the 99% chance is that the people who are out-performing you put more focused time into the ADULT part of the equation. They model the behaviors of more successful people, and look at the price they pay. And commit to paying it. They not only increase their skills constantly, but understand that if they want MONEY, if they are in a discipline where excellence or success is measured by cash they must master Marketing and Sales, and if you think they are any less demanding a discipline than any other art or science, you are very much mistaken.
If you know marketing and sales well enough, you will ALWAYS make sales. Even if your quality sucks. If your quality sucks, but your marketing and sales are pro-level, you get demands for refund, and that is an indicator that you were either selling to the wrong market, or your quality needs to improve. So if money is the issue, you must take action to
- Improve the quality of your product or service.
- Study Marketing, the science of finding the audience who wants your product, or educating a market as to its value
- Master SALES, the science of appealing to human nature such that people believe they want to exchange their time and energy (money) for yours (product or service) NOW. That they will feel more joy and less pain if they make that exchange.
Each of these areas is a science of its own. Practicing your art or discipline is often the “child” part of your personality, with the mastery of business–the Marketing and Sales–the “adult” part. If your child is screaming “pay attention to me! Why won’t you buy my stuff! How come those beautiful/powerful people aren’t interested in me? Waaaaah!”
Well, you may have a goal, and you may have faith you can and should attain it. You may feel gratitude. But what you are NOT doing is taking focused, modeled, adult, constant action toward your goal. You have abdicated your adult responsibility to the “child” within you. If your child wants to dance, your adult must either create a safe place for that child to dance (get a job to pay the bills) or manage that child’s energy and time to take her to professional level and then manage the contracts and money and marketing (the stereotypical “show biz parent”). Those are your choices, unless you can find an agent or manager willing to take the “adult” responsibility while you have the fun of remaining a “kid”. And they’re gonna want a big slice of your pie for that. You have zero right to resent their chunk of your money, and need to expect that they, the agents, editors, producers and managers, will look at you as a big kid. Big profitable kid, but a kid.
Those are the costs of not taking that action. Even worse, the cost of neglecting to take action without realizing that you have neglected a critical step. RESULTS COME FROM TAKING ACTIONS, AND TAKING THE RIGHT ACTIONS, EVERY DAMNED DAY OVER A PERIOD OF THOUSANDS OF FOCUSED HOURS. Do that, focus like that, and what you’ll find is that you are the one steering that luxury car down the street, musing to yourself about the vast, almost incalculable costs you have paid over the course of your life, smiling (hopefully) to think it was all worth while, that you have created a safe place for your “child” to play.
But people watching from the sidewalk, unless they have vision, will see only the result, and think either “look at that lucky S.O.B.” or worse…
“If I only want it enough, I can have it.” That simply isn’t true…unless your measure of “do I want it enough?” is “If I really want it enough, I’ll get up early, stay up late, sacrifice trivialities, be willing to push through frustration and despair, tell myself the painful truths, and CONSTANTLY LEARN how to improve my skills, marketing, and sales.” And when all those things, that process, is at the level of Unconscious Competence for thousands of hours, you too will be a “natural”, an “overnight success” who “just got lucky.”
And you’ll laugh, because otherwise, you’d cry.
Anyway, tomorrow I’ll tell you that story about the SECRET FORMULA’S first miracle…