Let's Get Off Our Buts

Part Four:

You can have anything you want if you want it desperately enough. You must want it with an inner exuberance that erupts through the skin and joins the energy that created the world.


I'm going to go faster. Now that you have your Dream and have committed to it, you're probably experiencing some Divine Impatience. A part of you is saying, "Let's get on with it!" And so we shall.

We move now from the mental realm--the world of discoveries, choices, goals, and commitments--into the emotional.

Although the mind can get the body jumping here or there, emotion is necessary for sustained activity. This section is about cultivating and channeling your emotional energy for consistent, persistent action.

There are a lot of different words for this emotional energy--enthusiasm (en theos, to be one with the energy of the divine), desire, and even obsession. The one I'm passionate about is passion.

The emotions are, however, controlled by the mind. What we think about determines how we feel. So, even though the goal of this section is to produce passionate emotions, much of the time I'll be discussing the uses of the mind.

Put all your eggs in one basket and WATCH THAT BASKET!


Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other one thing.


To reach a dream, especially a Big Dream, we need an ally, something to counteract all the limiting emotions the comfort zone can dish out.

That ally is our passion. We must love and desire our Dream--and love and desire it intently-- for our Dream to come true.

To paraphrase Mark Twain: "Put all your eggs in one basket--and LOVE THAT BASKET!"

Or, as Elbert Hubbard said, "Do your work with your whole heart, and you will succeed--there's so little competition."


Losers visualize the penalties of failure. Winners visualize the rewards of success.


To visualize is to see what is not there, what is not real--a dream. To visualize is, in fact, to make visual lies. Visual lies, however, have a way of coming true.

As I mentioned earlier, don't let the word visual throw you. I'm talking about the imagination . Some people primarily see in their imagination. Others primarily feel . Still others primarily hear . Whichever sense you use to access your imagination is fine.

How do you visualize? What does it look, feel, or sound like? The same way you remember things, that's how the imagination looks-feels-sounds. What's the shape of an apple? What color is a carrot? ("Why is a carrot more orange than an orange?" asked the Amboy Dukes. Does anybody remember the Amboy Dukes? It was back in the sixties. You had to be there.) What is your bathroom sink like? How clean is your car? However you saw, sensed, or heard those images, that's what it's like to visualize the future in your imagination.

But you know all this. You already have a sanctuary built in your imagination, and probably a few taco stands, too. With such advanced readers, it must be time for a Pop Quiz!

POP QUIZ: Although the brain is only 2% of the total body weight, it consumes 25% of the body's oxygen. What does this mean?

  1. If you feel short of breath, stop thinking.
  2. People without brains need 25% less oxygen.
  3. Our brains should be bigger.
  4. (D) The body considers thinking an important activity.
  5. We should spend 75% of our time doing something other than thinking.
  6. You shouldn't walk, think, and chew gum at the same time.
  7. Keep breathing.

Never give in. Never. Never. Never. Never.


In our imagination, what we behold we can become. What we have beheld in the past has made us what we are and gotten us what we have. If we want something different--something greater--we must think greater thoughts.

We are not responsible for every thought that goes meandering through our mind. We are, however, responsible for the ones we hold there. We're especially responsible for the thoughts we put there.

It's time to plant a Dream crop of positive visions. It's time to focus on the positive; to hold an image of what we want; to see, view, play (s'il vous plait) our Dream.

Or, worded for our more negatively thinking friends: Don't think about what you don't want.

No matter what else you're doing, think about your Dream all the time . Live your Dream in your imagination. Become obsessed by it. Fall in love with it. Court it. Seduce it. Marry it. Become passionate about it.

To paraphrase Churchill: Never lose in your imagination. Never. Never. Never. Never.

It's your dream. Your imagination. Why on earth should you lose there? Don't. If you find yourself losing, turn it around. Call in a cavalry charge. Bring on your Fairy Godmother (one of your Master Teacher's many outfits). Whatever it takes.

In your imagination, always come out on top, always be victorious. Always win.


I used to work at The International House of Pancakes. It was a dream, and I made it happen.


To affirm is to make firm. An affirmation is a statement of truth you make firm by repetition.

Like goals, affirmations work best when they are worded in the present tense. "I am a successful orchestral conductor, making $100,000 per year" is how to state an affirmation, not "I'm going to be . . ." or "I really want to be . . ." or "If it's not too much trouble, I'd really like to be . . .."

Your purpose and your Big Dream (Goal) are already worded as affirmations--so, affirm them. Say each, out loud, for an hour without stopping.

Before starting, you might want to ask the white light to surround you for your highest good.

When you affirm, all that is between you and fulfilling that dream surfaces--in other words, the comfort zone. Expect fear, guilt, unworthiness, hurt feelings, anger, and discouragement to do what they do to get you to stop. Keep going.

To bring up the limitations faster, look at yourself in the mirror while repeating your affirmation. It's a powerful process.

Additionally, you can record your affirmations on an endless-loop cassette (the kind used for outgoing messages in answering machines) and have them playing softly in the background while other things are going on.

You can get an earphone and play your tape on a portable stereo wherever you go. (Talk about your portable paradise!)

The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.


Some people like to make a treasure map. A treasure map is a large piece of foam core or a bulletin board that contains the keys to your inner and outer riches. Cut from magazines, newspapers, or make drawings of objects that represent portions of your Big Dream--words, pictures, people, anything.

Glue, paste, or pin them to your treasure map. (Some people use a bulletin board so that when one portion of the Dream is realized, they can take it down and replace it with another part of the Dream.)

Your treasure map becomes a colorful collage. Put it where you'll see it often (but not where the trolls hang out). It's a visual affirmation.

Practice turning the comfort zone's chattering into instant affirmations. Anytime you catch yourself saying something negative to yourself, take charge of the thought and rescue it. Turn it around. Make the most negative thought the most positive one--just like that. Consider it a lesson in creative writing, or a new quiz show--the grand prize of which is your Dream. If stuck, you can always add, "...up until now, and things are changing for the better," to whatever negative nonsense the comfort zone throws at you.

Affirmations help you believe in your Dream. Belief is essential. Your Dream must become more real than your doubt. Affirmations are like lifting weights--a mechanical process that helps build strength (belief) in your Dream.

"One person with belief," John Stuart Mill wrote more than a hundred years ago, "is equal to a force of ninety-nine who have only interests."

A Place to Practice Success

If you want a quality, act as if you already had it. Try the "as if" technique.


I bet you already know the place I'm about to suggest. Yes, your sanctuary.

All the tools of the sanctuary--the light at the entryway, main room, people mover, information retrieval system, video screen, ability suits, ability suit practice area, health center, playroom, sacred room, and Master Teacher--are invaluable tools in visualizing and affirming your Dream.

Think of all the experts--past, present, and future--you can invite in on the people mover. ("Mark Twain told me today, `Courage is the mastery of fear--not absence of fear.'" Amaze your friends!)

Think of how much fun you can have wearing the ability suit of your Dream in the ability suit practice area. If that becomes too vigorous, you can sit down and watch yourself being successful on the video screen. The information retrieval system is the perfect place to go whenever you think, "I wish I knew about . . ."

And, of course, there's the Master Teacher--friend, guide, supporter, champion, bon vivant.

All this--and so much more--is only the close of an eyelid away. Use your sanctuary. Often.

Find a Hero

Have I ever told you you're my hero? You're everything I would like to be. I can climb higher than an eagle. You are the wind beneath my wings.


We all need a hero, a role model--someone who had a Dream as big as ours, and lived it. Your hero may be alive, or may "belong to the ages." Either way, he or she can live in your heart.

Kevin Kline met his hero, Sir John Gielgud. Kline was in awe. "Mr. Gielgud," he said, "Do you have any advice for a young actor about to make his first film in London?"

Gielgud stopped and pondered the question for some time. At last he spoke, "The really good restaurants are in Chelsea and the outlying regions--you want to avoid the restaurants in the big hotels."

Pianist Vladimir Horowitz asked the advice of the great conductor Arturo Toscanini. "If you want to please the critics," Toscanini told him, "don't play too loud, too soft, too fast, too slow."

"Meet the sun every morning as if it could cast a ballot," Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., told novice political campaigner Dwight D. Eisenhower. A few years later, President Eisenhower met another of his heroes, golfer Sam Snead. When Eisenhower asked him for some advice on how to improve his golf swing, Snead coached, "Put your ass into the ball, Mr. President!"

Eisenhower himself became a hero to millions. "This must have been how Eisenhower felt just before D-Day," Larry Appleton explained to Balki Bartoukomous. "All around him the troops sleeping; not Ike! He knew that one single mistake could change the course of world history." Balki had only one question: "Was this before or after Ike met Tina Turner?"

The one thing I do not want to be called is First Lady. It sounds like a saddle horse.


I wish I was Donna Reed she'd have something wonderful to say. Or Shirley Jones she'd have something wonderful to say, too, and maybe even some fresh-baked cookies. Or Loretta Young; of course, she wouldn't have anything wonderful to say, but she would make a stunning entrance.


A young George Gershwin came to the already famous Irving Berlin, looking for a job as piano player. After hearing some of Gershwin's music, Berlin refused to hire him. "What the hell do you want to work for somebody else for?" Berlin asked, "Work for yourself!"

A playwright asked his hero, George Bernard Shaw, if he should continue with the profession of playwrighting. "Go on writing plays, my boy," Shaw encouraged, "One of these days one of these London producers will go into his office and say to his secretary, `Is there a play from Shaw this morning?' and when she says, `No,' he will say, `Well, then we'll have a start on the rubbish.' And that's your chance, my boy."

Heroes don't have to be real. Some people find fictional characters more inspiring than real-life heroes. To this day, thousands of people write to Sherlock Holmes at 221-B Baker Street. There is currently a bank at that address. The bank dutifully responds to every letter, "Mr. Holmes thanks you for your letter. At the moment he is in retirement in Sussex, keeping bees."

One of the great things about heroes is they are human. There's hardly a hero you can name who doesn't have heroic flaws. (Even Holmes had his weaknesses--that seven-percent solution of cocaine, for example.) Judy Garland once said of another singer (Barbra Streisand, I think), "The first time I saw her perform she was so good I wanted to run up to the stage, put my arms around her--and wring her neck. She just has too much talent!"

That our heroes became heroes flaws and all gives us hope. "You mean I don't have to be perfectto fulfill my Dream, to make a contribution?" Hardly.

It takes commitment, courage, and passion to live a dream and make a contribution. Heroes had these qualities along with their flaws. And you have those qualities, too.

And, of course, when you find one, visit your hero often in your sanctuary.

Positive Focusing vs. Positive Thinking

I was going to buy a copy of The Power of Positive Thinking, and then I thought: What the hell good would that do?


MARY RICHARDS: I quit. I'm going to Africa to work with Schweitzer.
LOU GRANT: Mary, Albert Schweitzer is dead.
MARY RICHARDS: You see what I mean, Mr. Grant? It's a lousy, lousy world.


There is a myth that in order to reach our goal we must "think positive" all the time. No, we don't have to "think positive" all the time. We don't even have to think positively any of the time.

To succeed--to fulfill our Dream--all we have to do is keep focused on our goal and keep moving toward it.

Let's say person A, person B, and person C all set out for the same goal. They begin at the same place at the same time. Person A is a positive thinker; person B is a positive focuser; person C is both a positive thinker and a positive focuser.

At the "Go," person A decides to sit down and do a little positive thinking to help prepare for the journey. Person B focuses on the goal and gets moving. Person C gets moving, too.

Person A notices an area of unpositiveness within, and remains still, working hard to remove the "darkness" before moving on the journey. Person B does not like the road, does not like the rules, does not like the weather, does not like the planned lunch, does not like not liking any of it, but keeps moving toward the goal nonetheless. Person C keeps moving, too, while enjoying the flowers, waving at passersby, singing, and thinking what good exercise all this movement is.

Guess who gets to the goal first? It's a tie between B and C. Person A hasn't left the starting place--but is feeling much more positive now, thank you very much. Person B and person C arrived at the goal at the same time because they were equally focused on it and moved on it. So why bother to add the positive thinking?

Person C enjoyed the journey; person B did not. That's the only difference. As long as we stay focused on our goal and continue moving toward it, we can have all the negative thoughts we want.

Keep walking and keep smiling.


In terms of goals, what's the difference? Well, if I were to ask C, "How would you like to go toward another goal?" C might respond, "Sure. That was fun." Person B, on the other hand, might reply, "I worked hard to get here. I want to rest for a while. Enjoy my victory."

What's the point? There are two. First, if your thoughts are not always sweetness and light as you move toward your Dream, don't worry. If you keep moving, you'll still get to your Dream.

Second, as you move toward your goal, you might like to practice focusing on good things along the way. You don't have to "make something up"--you already have; it's called your Dream. You need only look at what's in front of you and find something there to appreciate.

Our lives are a combination of good and bad, positive and negative. It's the best of times and the worst of times, all the time. When we focus on the good that's already present, we feel better. If not, we don't. Either way, life goes on.

Keeping your mind on the goal and moving toward the goal are the essence of positive focusing. All the rest is fun, entertaining, enjoyable--but not essential.

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