The more you complain about what is while trying to change it, the more you energize what is, thereby keeping it in place. You give it more sticking power. The same is true with trying to make something—presumably new and better than what is—happen. The harder you try, the more you energize the absence of the change you want to see.
So profound is this secret, you’ll find it in all master-level pursuits:
Auto racing: Indy car drivers are taught that if their car is out of control and they’re careening toward a wall, they should look in the direction they want to go, not the direction they’re going. From an edmunds.com article on advanced driving:
“Avoiding accidents: Racing drivers know that if a car spins out in front of them, it’s best to keep looking at where you want to go, not at the car in front of you or even in the direction in which the car is already going. When you look in the right direction, the car goes in the right direction, a reminder of the way in which vision and car control are inextricably intertwined.”
Master-level martial artist: Every master-level martial artist knows resisting an attackers attack energizes the attack, making it more effective. The more you redirect attacker-energy in your favor, i.e. not resisting the attack, the more powerful you become. Nearly all martial arts emphasize mastering this skill.
Personal survival: Riptides are dangerous. What makes them doubly so is if you try to fight your way out of it once you get caught in one. Swim against the force pulling you out and you’ll likely drown from exhaustion. I love this description from the website Art of Manliness:
Don’t try to swim against the rip. Deaths that result from riptides aren’t caused by the current pulling someone under; instead, the person typically panics, starts trying to swim against the rip to get back to shore, becomes exhausted, and drowns. An 8-feet-per-second riptide is so strong that not even Michael Phelps, even when he had that amazing mustache, could swim against it. Don’t kick against the pricks. Swim parallel to the shore. Instead of swimming against the rip current, you want to swim perpendicular to it, in either direction. Rip currents are typically only 20-100 feet wide. Once you leave the rip, swim at an angle away from it towards the shore. Go with the flow. If you don’t have the swimming skills or energy to swim out of the rip, float on your back and go with the current. Just imagine you’re taking a spin on the Lazy River at the water park you went to as a kid. Once the rip current dissipates, you can do the parallel swim thing or try to signal to the lifeguard or someone else that you’re in need of help.
See that part about “go with the flow”? Exactly.
So what does all this mean regarding creating the world we all know is possible? Good question. And here’s where the secret waits patiently for our discovery. Hold it lightly my friends. Here’s how I do it:
- I pay no attention to the world around me if I feel resistance about it. What is, is what’s becoming. Focusing on what is only gives me more of that. Instead, I pay attention to the world I prefer seeing. When I do I feel lighter, as you let go of stress you carry around being frustrated and angry about what you see on tv, read online or in print, or hear from your well meaning friends.
- Create in your mind what you would prefer to have that would replace what is. Don’t worry about details. Think instead about how that new world would feel. Would it be fun? Pleasurable? Interesting? Adventurous? Exciting? Hold onto this vision, this set of feelings, for as long as you can as often as you can throughout the week.
- Hold lightly to that idea, let it percolate. Be light and easy. Play around with the vision you created in the previous step. Let go of any thoughts of “making it happen” or “doing something in the world” that will lead to this vision. Your holding onto this vision is more powerful.
- Be open to inspiration. Successful with the above steps, you’ll find yourself in short order being compelled to take action. Follow that instinct/intuition. See where it leads. It takes practice learning to pay attention to this feeling. Take the advice of Yoda and Obi-wan—”Trust your feelings.”
- Do less, play more. Replace all that time you spent reading, talking, and thinking about what is with time spent having fun. Take up a fun hobby, develop a new skill, meet new people, go out on dates—whatever is fun. These periods allow your mind and the universe to collaborate, to create opportunities for you to discover pathways to the world you envisioned in step two.
You’ll find yourself through these five steps mastering the power of creation. In a little time you’ll discover not only pathways leading you to opportunities, people, events, and ideas that support the creation of the world you want to see, you’ll also discover your life becoming more fun, easier, lighter.
When all is said and done, what we want is that last part. We want our lives to be fun, easy and light. Truth is, you can have that now, without anything changing in the world around you. But it is oh so much fun creating new realities.
You’ve just learned the secret weapon to creating real, social change. Have fun with it. Play. Create.