Sunday, March 25, 2007

Creative Observation

A common question I get about intention-manifestation is something along these lines: How come when I wholeheartedly intend X to happen, I still get the opposite of X?

For example; How come when I intend wealth, I'm still poor? How come when I intend a new relationship, I'm still alone? How come when I intend a new career, I'm still stuck in the old one?

These are excellent questions. The answer is that intention-manifestation always works. When it seems like it isn't working, the reason is that while you're correctly putting out the intention for what you want, you're also putting out the intention to continue manifesting what you don't want. And you're probably doing a lot more of the latter than the former, so if your situation changes at all, it will happen very slowly. But if you keep it up, it will still work. However, most people give up on their positive intentions long before they have a chance to manifest, and by default they go back to thinking about what they don't want, so all progress is erased.

Imagine you're driving a car up a hill. What happens to the car if you stop partway up the hill and put the car in neutral? You slide back down the hill, erasing all your progress. No matter how many times you re-run this routine, you get the same result.

Observation is creative.

Now how is it that people keep thinking about what they don't want even when they're hugely motivated to manifest something new? It's very simple. If you're in a situation you don't want to be in, and you observe it or notice it, you're thinking about it. That means you're intending its continuation. For example, if you're overweight and you're intending to be thin, and you go to the mirror and see your overweight body, you just intended the opposite of what you want, thereby negating your intention to be thin.

That's harsh, isn't it? But this is why intentions can take a while to manifest.

Now how the heck are you supposed to focus on what you want if your current situation is something you don't want, and merely observing your current situation is enough to negate your positive intention?

That, of course, is the million dollar question. Fortunately, there's a million dollar answer: creative observation.

Let's review the rules of intention-manifestation:

1. All thought is creative. Every thought is an intention, including your perceptions. Observation is active creation, not passive witnessing. There's no such thing as observation without creation.
2. 100% responsibility. You're 100% responsible for everything that exists in your reality. If you perceive it, you created it.
3. Only the present is real. You only have power in this present moment; the past and future are merely projections you're creating right now. If you remember that X happened in the past, you're creating that past right now. To remember is to think, and to think is to intend.
4. No denial. You cannot uncreate what you've already manifested. Once something has manifested in your reality, it's too late to uncreate it. The mere act of observing it will perpetuate it. It makes no sense to deny what you've already created. If you perceive it, you've made it real.

#4 is the tricky part. You can't uncreate what you've already manifested. Once something appears in your reality, it's no longer just potential. You've made it real. Now it's stuck in your awareness, and you'll continue creating it merely by observing it. For example, if you're broke and in debt, you can't manifest wealth by denying your poverty. You've already created poverty; it's as real as solid rock. So the first part of adaptive creation is to accept the reality of everything you've created so far. Even if you don't see how you attracted it, it doesn't matter. All that matters is that it's real right now, so acknowledge and accept your current situation honestly, even if you don't particularly like it… even if you downright hate it.

Now let's say you want to go from A to B, where A is the current situation you've already manifested, and B is a new situation you'd like to manifest. Maybe it's fat to thin, rags to riches, loneliness to romance, wage slave to business owner, etc. It's nearly impossible to focus all your attention on B without thinking about A, especially if you fail just by noticing A. How can you not think about being overweight if you're stuck in your overweight body every single moment? How can you not think about being broke if you don't have the money to pay your bills?

All observation is creatively biased.

The key is that when you observe your current reality, you always observe with a bias. Your bias is rooted in your beliefs, but let's simplify that model to just three general biases: positive, negative, or neutral. All observation can be assigned one of these three bias values.

Suppose you observe the current state of your situation, and it's not remotely what you want. That's fine — it's perfectly OK to acknowledge that. But while you're observing your situation, you're also also expecting one of three things to happen: (1) the situation is improving, (2) the situation is declining, or (3) the situation is stable. This expectation may be subconscious much of the time, but it's always there in some form.

Assuming you intend your situation to improve, which of these three observational biases makes the most sense? Clearly the positive one bias is the way to go. In order for intention-manifestation to work smoothly, whenever you observe your current situation (even as it continues to conflict with what you really want), you must observe with positive bias as much as possible. This will allow you to observe reality without simultaneously negating your positive intention.

Why a positive attitude is critical.

This is precisely why a positive mental attitude is effective. Attitude is absolutely critical. If you spend time focusing on your positive intentions, but you also observe your present situation in either a neutral or negative way, you're wasting your time. This is why you don't get thin by harboring thoughts like, "I hate being fat." Instead you must acknowledge your present overweight body while latching onto the hope that your momentum is headed towards your goal weight.

Fortunately, no matter how overweight, broke, lonely, or unmotivated you are, there's always hope. There's always the possibility of turning things around. Even if pure dumb luck is the only ray of hope you can accept right now, that's a step in the right direction. Hold that hope as a general positive expectation rather than becoming attached to just one way your positive intentions might manifest. For example, you might focus on the hope of attracting better financial luck, but don't assume that it will come in the form of a lottery win.

This is why goal setting sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. You'll achieve your goals if you observe your present reality with a positive momentum in the direction of your goals. But if you set a goal and observe your present situation with a negative or neutral bias, then your goals have no power to induce change.

My experience

I've been testing this creative observation strategy for several weeks now. Whenever I observe something in my reality that I don't like or that conflicts with my positive intentions, I do my best to look for any shred of hope for improvement and focus on that. I keep observing with a positive bias, always asking, "What's good about this?" As I observe my present reality, I'm literally trying to bend it in the direction of my intentions. I look for any reasonable excuse that the momentum of a situation is positive and improving in the direction of my intentions. I accept the situation as it is, so there's no denial, but I'm imagining it getting better at the same time. So even though this particular point may not be what I want, I imagine it as part of a line that's sloping towards my goal. I observe the position but visualize it with a positive velocity.

If the velocity of the immediate past is negative, then I imagine a deceleration followed by a new acceleration in a more positive direction. For example, if my kids are beginning to misbehave in public, and if their behavior is gradually worsening, I acknowledge and accept what's happening while visualizing a positive turnaround on its way.

The results of this test are still accruing, but so far I'm convinced it's having a major impact already. Since I started doing this, I've had two major new potential partners come into my life, one of which I've already received a contract from for a new deal that I can hopefully announce this fall. I've also had lots of smaller opportunities crop up out of the blue. In all cases these were apparent coincidences — everyone came to me. It was totally effortless.

Steve is passionate about sharing his personal growth lessons with anyone who desires to improve themselves. He's written over 500 personal development articles, covering topics such as courage, motivation, productivity, and the meaning of life -- all of which are available for free on his web site,


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