Wizards Live Life Backwards
A few years ago, I read a book that rocked my world: The Way of the Wizard, by Deepak Chopra. It’s a small book with a powerful message: you gotta BELIEVE it before you can SEE it.
It’s totally the reverse of how we normally view life (and counter-intuitive). Of course, he’s not the first to write about this topic, albeit from a spiritual perspective. In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey says we should “begin with the end in mind”–i.e., visualize what you want to create first, then work backwards to create it in existence.
Before a building is created, an architect has to design it. The whole project is complete, so to speak, before the first ton of cement is poured; it is imagined as a finished building. The architect sees it in his or her own mind. All that’s left to do is to work backwards from the blueprint.
When J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter, she didn’t write the first book and then wait to see if its success warranted her writing a whole series. She committed, constructing the storyline for all seven books before she even started writing the first book.
I learned this lesson one Saturday while outdoor rock-climbing. I was out with some friends in North Georgia. We had a crash pad, which is a soft, mattress-looking item that is meant to protect you if you fall. I was climbing and had reached an impasse. I was near the top of the climb, about twenty feet up, but I couldn’t figure out how to make the next move to get to the top. And the longer I waited, the more precarious my situation had become.
I made the mistake of looking down, and I was terrified. Not only was I high up, but the crash pad was no longer lined up with where I was stationed; if I did fall, I wasn’t even sure if I would land on the crash pad! So, in that moment, I made a decision: I AM NOT GOING DOWN. I have to make it up this freaking rock, somehow!
No. Matter. What.
I was super-scared, but I had to make it. I got a stable leg position, and I reached up with all of my might, trying to find a hold as if my life depended on it. By committing 100% to the maneuver, I reached up and over the lip of the boulder until my hand found a hold. The truly scary part was having to reach beyond my sight; to have faith that beyond my vision there was a place to grasp onto that would lead me to the top. When I finally got to the top, you would have thought I had just ascended the peak of Mount Everest. I was shouting and yelling and beating my chest in a triumphant warrior dance of joy.
Climbing is a great metaphor for life: don’t decide until you’re ready; but when you are ready, give it everything you’ve got.
Another example: I remember trying to snowboard. I’m “goofy-footed” (and just plain goofy), so it was easy to turn left, but when I tried to cut right, I continually failed. I was taught to totally commit to the edge of my snowboard, but since I couldn’t commit, it didn’t work out. I half-assed it, and that was my result; I never got the hang of it. I never got over the hump to where I was truly snowboarding. Not very satisfying.
We don’t have to be an athlete in order to see the benefits of committing. People who work in business are often called upon to do something they’ve never done before, and they take it on, even when they have NO IDEA how they’re going to accomplish it.
When John F. Kennedy was young, he and his brothers would go out exploring. Occasionally, they would get to a place with high gates that blocked their entrance. Then, one of them would take off their hat, toss it over the gate and say, “I guess we’ve got to find a way across now.” The act of throwing a hat over the fence was a decision. A boy wasn’t going to come home without his hat, so they had no choice but to find a way.
In 1961, J.F.K. said we were going to the moon. It was then up to N.A.S.A. to figure out how it was going to happen. He didn’t first talk to N.A.S.A. and make sure it was possible. He didn’t have them draw out all the diagrams, build the spacecraft, create the formulas to see how they could get the astronauts off the moon and safely back to Earth and then declare it.
He did it backwards.
And that’s what modern-day Wizards do. They first create their vision, and then they figure out how to make it a reality. Visionaries begin with the end in mind. They take risks. They don’t get bogged down by the how; they formulate a desire, and that compels them to find the how.
Being a Wizard means being bold with our dreams.
We may never have had more than $50 in our bank account, but we may declare to the Universe that we want to have $20,000 or $50,000 or $100,000. It may feel utterly impossible and totally unrealistic; however, when we make it a fun adventure, new possibilities arise out of nowhere.
We don’t say, “I wish I could have $20,000 in my bank account” or “I really don’t want to have to worry about paying bills ever again.” Instead, we come from the future, as it were. We say, “I have $20,000 in my bank account–and I am so happy!” We say, “All my bills are paid, and it’s an amazing feeling not having to worry about bills anymore.” Do you hear the difference? We think and speak as if what we want has already happened.
Is that so radical? Quantum Physics says that the observer affects that which is being observed; our thoughts shape our reality. We are way more powerful than we think. People who have made a huge impact in the world have done so because they believed they could.
And that brings me to our October Wizard Challenge!
I have created an event on facebook beginning October 1st entitled, “Wizards-Live-Life-Backwards October Challenge.” The idea is to spend some time each day working out your wizard muscles by expressing gratitude for your past, present and… your future! It’s also about learning to flex these Wizard muscles whenever you slip from abundance into scarcity or fear-based thinking (which we all most certainly will do from time to time).
Just as a gardener continually prunes her plot to make sure the weeds don’t take over and kill her garden, so we must be on guard for thoughts which do not support the direction we’re moving in. We have to be vigilant about pruning our thought garden regularly. If not, we might find that our garden–i.e., our DREAMS–has been taken over by weeds (i.e., by dream-killers)! And we mustn’t allow that to happen.
I like to do my future gratitude like this:
“I am so thankful that I now have an emergency fund of $10,000 in my bank account. I am so thankful that I don’t have to worry about paying bills anymore because I have enough money rolling into my life where it’s no longer an issue. I am grateful that all of this abundance has already been sent to me and is on its way right now. I’m just waiting for the future to catch up to me! I receive these gifts. And so it is. Gracias, Madre. Gracias, Padre. Gracias. Gracias. Gracias. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
And I do that with different areas of my life. It’s about setting things in motion. We live in a reality of time & space where we don’t always see the manifestation of what we’re creating in the moment that we declare it.
A farmer plants seeds and then has to wait for those seeds to grow into crops. For a long while, there may be no evidence that those seeds are even going to bear fruit. A first-time farmer might even give up, not knowing that all along there was a whole process going on underneath the soil. Even though it seemed like nothing was going on, everything was happening perfectly.
During that waiting period it can be easy for us to lose faith. And that brings us back to the beginning. A Wizard believes it before he or she sees it.
And KEEPS on believing until it shows up–no matter how long it takes.
I look forward to planting some amazing dreams with you over the course of the next month!
Here’s the fb link to the October Challenge to sign up and learn more: https://www.facebook.com/events/1599680313606838/