My most recent Artist’s EDGE Newsletter has been generating lots of conversation. Here’s a great email that I just received from Andrea Anderson:
“Without doubt, negative thinking is dangerous and self-destructive. On the other hand, saying that a person can change any circumstances outside themselves is quite dangerous and puts them in a position of thinking that they have lots of power over other people, places and things. The whole idea, it seems to me is to change oneself. And that change attracts other people and situations.”
My response? Exactly! I love the way that Jack Canfield puts it in The Success Principles:
Events plus Response equals Outcome
You have control over your responses (both internal and external) and that determines your outcome. A lot of people went through Katrina – some people made lemonade, others just sit in the sourness – it’s not the circumstances but what you do with the circumstances.
But then there are those who manage to avoid the circumstances altogether – because it’s not what they’re attracting for themselves.
So when something outrageous happens, it’s not enough to just say, “How am I responding to this? How do I make lemonade out of these lemons?” It’s also important to ask, “How is it that I attracted lemons instead of that ripe juicy watermelon?”
The truth is that you DO have lots of power, but not over others, over yourself and your own circumstances. Other people have power over themselves and THEIR circumstances. Just because those circumstances exist in their world, doesn’t mean you have to invite it into yours.
And it doesn’t mean that you say – well, to heck with them, that’s their problem – either. But you can choose how you think and feel about their misfortunes and what you choose to empower about their misfortunes.
For me, I like to contribute money and time to organizations that are NOT about saving people, but about empowering people. Because I don’t believe we can save anyone. We can only give them the tools and encouragement to save themselves.
If you focus on how powerless they are, then you are attracting being powerless to yourself as well. If you focus on how individuals achieve, then you are attracting the experience of achieving. But beware, if you only focus on achieving in the face of terrible odds, then you are attracting, yes you guessed it, terrible odds!
So, focus on how the real professionals make it look easy and how you can make your own life feel easy and effortless, too.