I’m not sure this is a rant, but it’s something that’s been on my mind a while now – and in my ever increasing desire to show that a sense of discernment is actually possible in the spiritual and healing world – I feel obliged to speak up.
A lot of people I know are really into “Intentions” and “Law of Attraction”… that in order to grow and/or succeed as people we need to put out gratitude, loving thoughts, bliss, positive thoughts, and ideas of prosperity. I think it’s all lovely to think those things and have gratitude and what not, but, do I think it actually makes or breaks a person in the world of “making it” or financial success?
No, Not really.
And here’s why.
There are a lot of nasty, wretched, ungrateful, un-positive, ill intentioned successful people in the world. Not just financially, but in writing and art also. They are many articles on successful businessmen being closely related, if not actually, psychopaths. Narcissists abound in the financial and business world. In other words, a lot of people make it on the backs of others and don’t really care about doing it. They aren’t grateful to the people they broke on the way. The world is full of greedy scrooges who aren’t visited by spirits and are quite happy to be scroogified.
And let’s not forget the Arts. Do you think Poe drank himself to death because he was a happy, grateful dude? Or, Van Gogh, or Sylvia Plath – hell, creative arts are filled with depressed, tortured people who create not because they want to put something beautiful and inspiring into the world, but because they are literally possessed and driven into writing, sculpting, drawing, painting, or, whatever they are into. Their lack of care of how their creations impact the world is quite often exactly why it actually impacts the world.
I don’t want to leave out the so called Spiritual Masters either. These people become deified and held up on pedestals over time, but that doesn’t mean that while they were alive they were all that esteemed, known, revered or even well – liked. Sure, we dig a lot of nifty quotes and ideas they supposedly uttered now, but I don’t think Jesus was put on a cross because his words were embraced by all at the time. Living their truths to the core often meant that a whole lot of people didn’t buy into what they were saying. Spiritual leaders are often known for being isolated and depressed during their lives; because speaking truths that are difficult to hear does not make you popular with the people you wish would change.
Of course all of these people, from the psychopath to the future spiritual guru, have something in common. They have conviction. They have the conviction and drive and focus to do what they are driven to do, regardless of consequence. They don’t weigh themselves down with what other people think; I doubt they read self-help books, and they don’t care much about intention and law of attraction. They just do what it is they are driven to do.
So, while I know these groovy pictures and quotes and internet guru sensations are nice and pretty and they say what we want to hear – I don’t think they will rock my world, or change my future. I don’t think that by inciting mantras in the mirror I’ll make myself who I want to be. I don’t believe that if I adjust my habits and pray at night or make mantles of intention that I’ll get anywhere. What I believe is if I want to do it bad enough, if I’m driven to do a thing, I will, from pure need within, intrinsically, do it.
When I am ready to lose weight, I’ll do it, by myself, without anyone to motivate me or push me. It may take a heart attack, sure, but isn’t health emergencies quite often the final line for many? You know, certain death can be a fairly large motivator for some – but it is their own motivation. And for some, even that is not enough – and you know, that’s okay too. When I find my thing, that thing I want to do so badly I can’t wait to wake up every morning to do it, I will do it.
I guess I feel the need to speak these words of what at least I believe, because I see people get bogged down in self help books, groups, seminars and teachings, while never actually doing anything they want to do. These things are constant distractions for them, distractions that, while making one feel groovy in the moment, are not going to help them actually make anything happen. To do that, you have to have that focus and drive that will to do it regardless of everything, and do it even if everyone else is telling you it’s wrong, or if you are super busy, or have a million and one half reasons why doing that thing is unreasonable, costly and badly timed.
So forget the mantras, resolutions, and altars of groovy intent. You’ve done them. Like, a lot. Put down the self help book and pick up something that helps you get where you’re going. Want to write? Then write. Want to paint? Then paint. Want to start a business? Look up everything you need to know to start a business. And then do it. Expect it to fail. And do it again. Expect it to fail, and then do it again, because it if it’s really important and if you’re driven to do it, no amount of failure, or depression, or bad thoughts, or intentions of madness – will stop you.
I used to hate that Nike mantra that says “Just Do It.” I hated it to my very core. You know why? Because I knew it was right. And I knew I wasn’t “Doing It” and I wanted to not be reminded of it. But, that saying is dead on… you want to do something, then JUST DO IT. It’s great to be grateful, and positive, and I fully encourage it, but in the end, the action is what is going to get you there.
Even if it pisses off the whole freaking world.