By Peggy Morehouse
In 2006, The Secret, a self-help book by Rhonda Byrne soared to the top of bestsellers lists everywhere. It was based on the law of attraction and claimed that positive thinking can create life-changing results such as increased wealth, health, and happiness. According to Wikipedia, “The author claims that as we think and feel, a corresponding frequency is sent out into the universe that attracts back to us events and circumstances on that same frequency. For example, if you think angry thoughts and feel angry, it is claimed that you will attract back events and circumstances that cause you to feel more anger. Conversely, if you think and feel positively, you will attract back positive events and circumstances.”
Just think I’m rich and money-making situations will appear. It sounds too good to be true, and I think it is. There is no scientific evidence that this method works. Although a positive attitude is essential to achieving goals, it is only the beginning. Without strategies and action, high hope thinking will never amount to much. There are plenty of people who have started businesses with a great deal of optimism, only to be disappointed by the outcome. For example, I believe that I can become a career novelist, but am aware of the blood, sweat, and tears associated with such an ambitious endeavor.
The reality is, I will not see my name on The New York Times bestseller’s list simply by visualizing it. I need to write the damn book. I have to spend several hours a day in creative mode, study the craft, become a masterful editor, and face rejection without feeling defeated. I’ve never heard a successful author say: I finished my first draft and was immediately signed by a literary agent who landed me a six figure publishing deal.
The Secret doesn’t address the commitment and perseverance involved with most triumphant stories. What happens when we encounter obstacles and failure? How do we move past them? Is continued positive thinking all we need to make our dreams come true? Not according to Michael Jordan:
As Bruce Springsteen sings in I’m Working on a Dream, “I’m working on a dream though sometimes it feels so far away. I’m working on a dream and I know it will be mine someday. Rain pourin’ down, I swing my hammer. My hands are rough from working on a dream.” Yes, he’s positive, but he also has to confront the rain pourin’ down to reach his goal.
What do we do when we find ourselves in a storm on the way to our dream?
While I was at the writing workshop with Cheryl Strayed at The Omega Institute, I discovered an excellent guide that addresses the reality of dream chasing. It happened one late afternoon when I attended a seminar conducted by Matthew Walker. He has lived out his wildest dreams through high adventure living, which include climbing the highest mountain peak on every continent, being a committed husband/father, receiving a master’s degree in applied behavioral science, and working as an outdoor educator and mountain guide for the past two decades through his company, Inner Passage. In his book, Adventure in Everything, Matthew provides, “A framework for making changes guaranteed to weave excitement and a sense of possibility into every single day.”
I read Adventure in Everything and was impressed with the substantive details Matthew provides for achieving a high quality life. He goes far beyond positive thinking. His formula involves:
- High Endeavor
- Uncertain Outcome
- Total Commitment
- Tolerance for Adversity
- Great Companionship
I was so intrigued by the book, I decided to discuss it through this blog over seven consecutive Sundays. That’s right! We’re going to have an online book club right here. By the time we’re through, you’ll be ready to tackle a goal whether it be to land a role in community theater or grow a herb garden. Anything your heart has been yearning to try. The start date is Sunday, September 14, end date October 26. If you’d like to reconnect with your dreams and passions, come along. Adventure in Everything truly delineates how to make the good stuff happen.
Learn more about Matthew Walker at: http://www.innerpassage.net/
Adventure in Everything is available for purchase at Amazon or you can order it through your local independent bookstore: http://www.amazon.com/Adventure-Everything-Elements-Authenticity-Inspiration/dp/1401929605/ref=tmm_pap_title_0