Get Ready for Something Good
(Part 1 of 2)
Today's article had been sitting in draft form, for a few months. When I completed the final version, it was the week of the Las Vegas shooting. In light of that tragedy as well as the recent string of hurricanes and fires, I hesitated before broadcasting the subject line: "Get Ready for Something Good." However, as I considered this article's message -- having an even approach and dealing with the reality of current problems while inviting, preparing for, and working for good -- it feels especially relevant, both in our individual lives and in our world. As always, I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.
Ready or Not
There is a current series of TV ads in which Dan Gilbert, a psychology professor at Harvard, encourages viewers to plan for retirement. One of the ads entitled Past-Future illustrates how most people tend to have a skewed vision of the future, planning for more "good" events than "bad," even though the past contained an even mix of both.
It's not just the financial services and insurance industries who urge us to plan well. Whether the context is business, the military, or sports, a basic tenet to forming a sound strategy is to anticipate obstacles. Yet when it comes to planning for things we'd rather not think about, our reluctance is understandable. We're all capable of teetering from one extreme mindset to the other: denial to doomsday.
It's helpful to recognize our tendencies toward one or the other. Leaning toward the denial end of the spectrum will find you in emergency mode more often than necessary. Too much time calculating doomsday scenarios can result in shrinking your aspirations or worse, in a perpetual state of fear.
Good things happen. Bad things happen. Can we prepare for both? As a coach, that's what I've noticed my clients want: to plan realistically as they manage their lives and also, to allow themselves to imagine and work toward something good in their future.
For the rest of this article, I'd like to focus on the latter and ask you: How are you preparing for good?
Preparing for Good
After Kerron Clement made history in 2016 by becoming the first to win gold for the U.S. men's track team, he spoke to reporters about the sense of certainty he possessed, despite a long history of injury and setbacks. "I made a space on my cabinet where I have all my medals and the space in the cabinet reads 'gold medal 2016'. So I knew I was coming here to win the gold medal." (1)
By Clement's account, the way he prepared his mind to win gold was as significant as the way he prepared his body. We can do the same, with practice.
A few years ago I came across an affirmation attributed to Michael Bernard Beckwith:
I am ready, willing, and able to accept and to allow more good than I have ever experienced, imagined or received before. (2)
I haven't been able to locate this exact quote online or confirm it's from Beckwith, but it's certainly consistent with what he teaches: being intentional with inviting good things into your life.
This particular quote got my attention. It wasn't about having to do 75 things first in order for good to occur. It was simply a call to ready my mind and heart.
What would it mean to accept and allow more good? I decided to add this quote to the Notes section on my iPhone, where I keep an assortment of inspirational statements. I'd say it out loud every so often (while on a walk, for example) and eventually I committed it to memory.
As with all affirmations that you take the time to integrate, this one began to function as a metaphorical tuning fork. Whenever I heard the sound of my own dissonant thoughts, I could "raise my vibration" and attune to the perfect pitch of expecting good.
Here's what I noticed:
- When you start thinking about experiencing more good, certain questions are bound to surface, such as: Is it okay to want more? (3)
- You become acutely aware of how much time you spend thinking about something bad that might happen.
- When good things occur, you're more apt to respond with: Yes, with a grateful and willing heart, I accept this good.
Whether you want to envision a specific outcome as Kerron Clement did, or prepare for good in general, it is possible to increase your capacity to receive good.
Increase Your Capacity
Aside from all the things you may need to do in order to achieve a certain goal, there is another type of preparing that is equally essential: opening to receiving the good. Invite it in and be ready to welcome it when it arrives.
This Week's Call To Action:
- Experiment with using the affirmation: I am ready, willing, and able to accept and to allow more good than I have ever experienced, imagined or received before.
- Whatever problems, obstacles, or "bad stuff" you are currently managing, be sure to notice the good that is present alongside it all. Assign more power to good.
Now more than ever, with all that is going on in the world, how can you increase your capacity for good?
Ready your mind.
Ready your heart. For Good.
See you in the current,
(1) "Kerron Clement captures gold in 400 hurdles," USA Today, Aug 18, 2016.
(2) A comment on affirmations: Though they are often fodder for parody, you don't have to be a fan of New Age thought or The Secret to benefit from them. Able to be integrated with meditation, prayer, or simply having a positive mindset, affirmations are accessible to everyone. Used properly, affirmations will influence how you conduct yourself, interpret what happens, and choose to respond.
(3) Practicing with this particular affirmation will likely raise internal questions related to: worthiness, gratitude, permission, as well as the relationship between giving and receiving. For me, it was a perfect reminder of the artful balance between making things happen and allowing them. For additional reading on these topics, visit the Current of Life library.