"Energy creates form" is a concept shared by Buddhists and nuclear physicists. The basic idea is that when you apply energy to something, this energy begins to shape the material reality or expression behind the energy. It’s not as abstract as it may sound. It’s all about attracting and manifesting what you believe to be true. Your thoughts are perhaps even more powerful than your actions because they are the engine behind the actions. Beliefs and thoughts are like magnets. You cannot see a magnet’s power, but soon, forks, bottle caps and pieces of metal are flying through the air, pulled by this invisible force, and the magnetic attraction has taken tangible shape.
This is relevant for anyone making their way through the business world and even just making their way through life. The realization that you become what you believe—that life is a self-fulfilling prophecy—determines how it goes. And it’s key to remember this when encountering negativity, whether it be your own or someone else’s.
Throughout my working life, I’ve encountered what I call energy vampires. These are needy individuals who have a victim’s personality, believing the world is out to get them, and they sing a victim song. They say the world is a terrible place, that they have been treated unjustly by life, and that the same may happen to you—not exactly a cheery thought.
Even John F. Kennedy said, “Life is not fair.” Some of you are born richer, poorer, taller, shorter, even prettier or smarter than others. This fact defines the hand of cards you were dealt by destiny, luck and fortune, including your DNA and a million other circumstances out of your control. But what’s far more important is how you play your hand once you’ve had the chance to examine and understand the cards you hold.
In the simplest terms, it comes down to choice. You do have choice, you do have free will, and you do make key decisions throughout life. Many people get stuck in a feeling of helplessness because their initial hand of cards may not be entirely to their liking or because a wild card shows up without invitation. But you still exercise choice as you choose your responses to all of the things in life over which you feel you have no direct control.
A blessing in disguise?
Everyone must get over something. Sometimes these impediments are obvious, but other times, they are more subtle. Musician Stevie Wonder has often remarked his total loss of eyesight as a prematurely born infant, due to too much oxygen introduced into his hospital incubator, was in fact a gift from a greater power; he believes by forfeiting physical sight, he was compensated with an ability to create art. In the artist’s experience, this twist of fate that many of you would call tragic has been literally received as a blessing.
Sometimes, the challenge that faces someone seems like a blessing when it is, in fact, a real trial for them. People who are exceptionally physically beautiful—versus simply attractive—often feel their extreme beauty is a burden. The same is true for people with an extremely high IQ, especially very gifted children. It may be difficult to feel sympathy for these people, but they often become negative precisely because they are burdened with something everyone else in the world seems to covet.
So perhaps you are not dealing with blindness, a supernatural physical beauty, or an IQ in excess of 150. You’re a bright, motivated, chic skin therapist, and yet nothing is going your way. The economy is bad, your practice is inconsistent, you can’t afford to buy all the nice things you’d like, you work too many hours, your feet hurt, there is no end to the laundry, your friends and family complain they never see you … Please, hold it right there.
As a friend from Brooklyn always says, get over yourself! The key is to hold a picture in your mind and the heart of your being about what you want to happen and what you most passionately wish to be true. This may be as simple as a full appointment book. Or it may be a skin care center of your very own.
First, form a clear picture in your mind. Then bring this picture to mind consciously throughout your day, and hold it in your mind when your head finally hits the pillow at night. This way, it can permeate your subconscious thoughts as you sleep.
This is the opposite of dwelling on what you don’t want. Banish from your mind the long list of negative what-ifs. These include: What if all of my clients move to another city? What if I can’t pay my lease? What if my check bounces? What if I run out of my favorite cleanser before the next order arrives? What if I lose my touch? What if our building catches on fire? What if I wake up tomorrow with amnesia and can’t remember the basic effleurage or petrissage? And so on. You just have to tell yourself to stop it.
Thoughts such as these are the magnets described earlier. This is not to mean your mere thoughts can actually cause your building to catch on fire, because then you would be the main character in a Stephen King novel. But thoughts, both negative and positive, do attract material action.
It’s up to you
I’ve taught and mentored hundreds of small-business owners, mostly entrepreneurs and mostly women. I have watched them reach for what they wanted, only to be frustrated many times. The ones who succeed are the ones who keep reaching. These ultimate victors don’t ever see themselves as victims, failures or losers; they merely see themselves as future success stories that have not yet been told.
There may be a bit of a cultural issue here as well, as America is the fabled land of the overnight success. In my experience though, there really are very few of these. Hollywood is filled with bitter, angry waiters and waitresses who literally got off the bus expecting to be discovered as the “next big thing”—no wonder it’s hard to get a refill on your iced tea in that town.
And some people genuinely do appear to be more golden than others, seemingly achieving things more easily and with less strife. Perhaps they do. But the same qualities are always required: focus, persistence, passion for the goal and a refusal to quit. Each of these qualities is defined by your commitment to repel the negativity that attacks from the outside and expel any negativity that arises from the inside.
Remember, misery loves company, so have none of it. Go on to shine.