Five years ago, after some significant changes in my life, I made a commitment to change my career path to one thing I felt good at – painting. I haven’t done any regular painting or drawing since I left the art school, and was quite excited about this idea.
This commitment was very flawed. After six years of art school, I honestly hoped I would never have to touch a paintbrush again. If you think you love something, give it a test by forcing yourself to do it every single work day for six years. For testing purposes, a year will be enough. If you still love it and want more of the same – great, you found your passion! Unfortunately, painting didn’t pass the test for me.
As much as I loved it, there was something lacking… Stupidly, I thought it would somehow be better this time. I guess I felt a bit useless, and this was the only thing I felt good at.
Producing some great work during that period, could not make up for a fact that production rate was 50 paintings in 5 years and about 10,000 photos, out of which most were snaps, some were good and maybe about 50 great ones. Two or three were close to fantastic, and worth some attention.
My paintings weren’t full of detail, or hyper-realistic, they were expressionistic paintings, that I could easily have produced two a week, about a hundred a year and two hundred in two years – instead of fifty. I couldn’t even afford to pay for my oils and canvas.
I loved and hated my paintings, changed my mind every week on what I wanted to do with them. They have layers upon layers built upon them and countless amount of fixes-for-no-reason.
Luckily, that time was also used to procrastinate. I’ve completed Need for Speed on Xbox 360 and got all the way to level 50 on Skyrim. I only started Metal Gear Solid Phantom Pain last year, when I was becoming more and more advanced in my well-being commitments, so I’m still only 32 percent in.
I have also watched all seasons of Dexter, Prison Break, and Breaking Bad, Good Wife, all seasons of House, some others I can’t recall. I have also gone through what I call “Tarantino’s Film School” and watched countless amounts of shitty movies, that I also can’t recall – maybe only about 5% of them were actually worth watching.
My procrastination also included taking some free courses on oceans (of all things!), physical theater and causes of war. Also learning code, building myself a website, mastering my DSLR (taking thousands of photos in a process), getting good in Photoshop, learning Illustrator, passionately learning about nutrition and natural ways to improve human condition, and experimenting with various diets and supplements. Also reading hundreds of books on various personal development and nutrition subjects, however only half of them were actually worth reading (and that’s because I’m careful at picking what I read).
It looks like I’ve done some useful stuff, why is it procrastination? Because it wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing. To succeed, I had to put all my focus on two things: production of my artwork, and getting it out for the world to see.
I have earned a little money working as an actress and putting my photography on stock sites. I can honestly conclude, that I have spent the entire months only watching crappy movies and playing some Xbox games…
I am sure that Tarantino’s Film School will come in handy one day as I am planning to put theory into practice - but this was not what I was supposed to be concentrating on all that time! I was supposed to be concentrating on my paintings, and getting them out for the world to see – that’s all! What on earth happened? Where was my FOCUS?
It was weird. The most unfocused period of my life, when it should have been the most focused. I should have been beating it, love it or not; it was my commitment!
What changed? As much as I really hate to admit it, the movie The Secret was responsible for me getting the ball rolling. And no, I wasn’t going to read that book. Don’t get me wrong, I think the movie was pretty damn simple, I think I only watched it because I liked the title – I didn’t even know what it was about! However, I absolutely have to give credit to it, as it did carry a very powerful message, oh yes, the mighty LOA (Law of Attraction), is not much of a secret anymore. You become what you think… It was the first time I heard about it so directly – not just keeping mind, body, and spirit in line – which essentially has the same idea, only it doesn’t say you can manifest a Ferrari if you keep thinking about it really hard. That’s how direct The Secret was.
Do I think I can manifest a Ferrari by visualizing myself owning it every night? To be honest, I didn’t give a rat’s arse about that. Did I start imagining myself rolling in a big pile of money? No. This film brought me more than that – it gave me back the curiosity to find out more about how the world works.
What sold it to me was the fact that ever since reading all Carlos Castaneda’s books, I was always fascinated with the idea of interdimensional relationships and their effect on each other, other words – physical reality manipulation by other means than physical reality itself. It might sound awfully esoteric, yet it’s a lot simpler than what it sounds. Countless studies record how meditation benefits our minds. Better mind – better focus, better results at work and school. This is how non-physical influences physical reality. Better creativity – better ideas and again, better results in life.
Of course, you can easily translate it to certain chemicals in your body, and chemicals in your brain and general capabilities of your brain that can be “unlocked” by those chemicals. Yes, eventually everything will translate to physical reality, yet to get there we are using something that no chemical provides – our own willpower. We make our own decision to commit ourselves to exercise or meditation. It might be triggered by outside events, like doctors instructions or friends advice – only how many of us receive the same information, yet use it in a completely different manner?
Every single one of us is born under different circumstances, in different geographical location, to different parents. All of us go through life collecting different experiences, which provide us with different character traits, different behaviour patterns, which in turn affects our decision making.
If you’re born into a family of runners, you will be far more likely to become an athlete than someone who was born into a family of office workers (yes, there are plenty of exceptions, but that’s not what I’m talking about). Most will continue through life making decisions that their experience dictates to them, continue in a little pattern of behaviours dictated by their minds. However, every one of us has a capability to break that pattern. It happens through willpower.
A person who has been obese all his life can one day, out of nowhere decide he had enough of being fat and sick and wants to become fit and healthy. And I’m talking about a real decision, not a pretend one, where he eats salad for one whole week and the next he comes back to burgers. I am talking about a decision that he made because he felt that he would die inside if he did not go through with it.
Let’s call this person Benjamin.
What triggers it? There is always an external trigger – let’s say Benjamin overheard a co-worker talking about their fat arse being too big for their office chair. It affected Benjamin so much that he was ready to make this decision. External input? Yeah, one out of a million and one other ones he faced since he was a little kid – from school friends abuse to inability to chat up girls, to his parents feeding him grapefruits for his breakfast, to doctors going on about heart attacks when he was only twenty-two, to a good friend, who tried his best to convince him to go on a diet. After many years of all that, the decision gets triggered by another measly “fat arse” comment? I don’t think so.
He followed a pattern. It was a pattern of his attention being brought to the fact that he’s fat, leading him to feel sorry for himself. Then going on a few weeks salad diet and losing a few pounds and then some more of feeling sorry for himself that he ate salad and grapefruit all week and only lost a few pounds, to feeling useless and hopeless, to accepting the fact that he’s fat and will never lose any weight, to giving up on his diet.
He’s been going through the same little pattern for the last 30 years with decreasing frequency and variations between salad, exercise and a different kind of salad. What happened, that made him break it? He recognise a pattern. More importantly, he looked at his situation empty minded – from a different perspective. It’s not the same as looking into the situation from a perspective of a different person. It’s is him, looking at his actions from the outside in.
It takes willpower to recognise these patterns, just as it takes willpower to make a decision to change them. It’s is not just psychological, there is so much more involved in this process than our brain. Real willpower is within us and can be brought out by us, regardless of our past experiences, our health levels, and our mental makeover. Needless to say, just like our physical body and our mind, the more exercised – the stronger it becomes.
You can now ask, so where is the willpower in Law of Attraction? Well, the beauty of it is, that even though LOA requires little willpower, it still requires some. A commitment of repeating affirmations every single day and visualizing your dreams with an unwavering enthusiasm and appreciation is still executed by willpower. There are so many LOA books around, countless people have read them – The Secret alone has over 21 million copies in print, plus the screen version that millions of people have seen just on Netflix.
Out of the ones who did not dismiss its theories as complete nonsense, maybe half of the people decided to practice it for a bit. How many people have gone through the first three days? The first week? A month? The list gets shorter and shorter. How does this help? Just like running every day, LOA process requires discipline. Your willpower gets stronger and stronger until it allows you to make more demanding decisions. Commitment itself will triple your chances of success in what you want to achieve!
It was the one thing I noticed once I started meditating regularly. A single regular commitment will make another regular commitment easier to make.
Law of Attraction fascinated me. I never stopped to think how important your mindset is, to achieve anything you want to achieve. Focus. Focus. Focus. I loved it. The Secret might not have made me think of what I want every night, but it made me change the way I think. It made me think about all the things I should be grateful for. It reminded me of what Don Juan Matus so gracefully called a humbleness of a warrior. I love that expression.
As soon as I started practising gratitude for everything I have, I realised how immensely absent it was from my life before. I started investing more time in various methods to improve my mind, and so I started meditating every night before bed. This has lead me to find a new mission, to walk the England Coast Path, which in turn lead me to the creation of this blog. And so, hello world!
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Aug 15, 17 01:35 PM
Did you know, that something as innocent as a daydream can completely take over your life? Isn't daydreaming healthy and good for your creativity? Not when it becomes something you can't control.
Aug 06, 17 07:34 PM
New Age is a term we hear more and more often these days. It sticks to a lot of things weird or crazy. But how weird or crazy is it really, compared to "normal" everyday reality?
Jul 29, 17 03:34 PM
With all this meditation and living in a moment craze going on - we should probably ask ourselves - what on earth is wrong with thinking?