One of my readers recently wrote to me: “A friend of mine is on a fixed income. He took $10,000 credit from a bank and has started a new business, but currently has no customers or prospects. He keeps repeating that he is already successful and debt-free. And thinks that only through self-motivation and faith we can get anything we want in life. What do you think about this idea?”
My answer: “Faith is a wonderful thing – and very necessary. There are, however, approaches that may look like faith but lead us in risky directions. Please tell your friend that he needs to pay close attention to “real” actions and concentrate on learning to provide a service to other people that THEY WANT. I know from hard experience that it’s nearly impossible to get the right mindset for real faith or confidence when you’re circling the drain. Your friend needs to get his feet firmly under himself with real money, even if he has to go tend bar or wash dishes for the extra income for a bit. Remember that all faith needs feet. If you’re in an airplane on its way down in a power dive, you put on your parachute first. And THEN you do affirmations. The old biblical phrase “faith without works is dead” means just that – belief needs to be connected organically with productive action. If it’s not, then it’s not true belief, it’s only an attempt to con yourself and the gods. Action and affirmations must be bonded together as a single unit and support each other like two legs. Neither faith nor action can stand alone. So, you might want to tell your friend that positive thinking is good (and absolutely necessary), but positive ‘action’ is also an essential ingredient. Simply put, he’ll never pray himself up a hill. When he’s willing to take action, his faith will bring the lucky breaks, and the right people at the right times to help move him forward. But it’s the ACTION that anchors all that potentiality into reality. Otherwise, it’s all vapor. Willingness to take action with all the stops out… some call that enthusiasm, others call it commitment. But it sure boosts the octane. It’s often hard to get people to see that taking a detour on the way to their goals is not a “wrong turn.” It’s just another way of getting where they’re going. Just remember that you don’t have to give up on your dreams and goals when some little thing comes along (or not so little). The goal is what’s important, not every little step it takes to get there (as long as we remember to TAKE the steps). I’d guess that the old gremlin of impatience has killed more dreams than any other single influence. It’s so common to think, “If I’m not getting there RIGHT NOW, then that’s it; I’ll never make it.”
It might help to think of your vision of your future as a very penetrating stare. It penetrates anything that may seem to block your path. As long as you keep seeing what’s in your future, you won’t become stalled by the stuff that crops up in front of you today. This may all sound trite, but it’s true, every bit of it. And I learned it all the absolutely hardest way. I lived through it over and over and over and… But eventually, even a super-dense guy like me can learn, proving that anybody on earth can do it.