5 Powerful Life Principles at the Heart of Everything

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

The power of personal creation is probably the most profound ability that human beings possess outside of our capacity for love.

At our core we are creative beings. We only have to look at the world around us and back through our history at how we have developed storytelling, music, art and culture, industry, inventions, architecture and transport to know that our unbounded curiosity, inventiveness and ideas have shaped our evolution thus far.

But beyond these collective creations that are part of our everyday life each person on the planet has the potential to create the life of their dreams. This capacity to manifest what we want (or don’t want) is more highly developed in some than others, and maybe in particular areas, not necessarily the entirety of their lives.

We may look at someone who appears to be successful on the outside, but we don’t know what other circumstances are lurking in their life. It’s a waste of time comparing ourselves to others, because we are each on our own journey (albeit crossing paths now and then).

I’ve had some challenging creations and circumstances to deal with lately, and so have been on a mission to create more of what I want and less of what I don’t want. In my quest to improve my power of personal creation I came across several different teachers that have helped me to understand where I am, and more importantly, where I’m going!

“The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can’t find them, make them.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

I wanted to share some of my insights with you in this post, in the hope that they might benefit you as they have me in my time of need.

5 Powerful Life Principles

  1. The energy of attraction, which is our expression of divinity. It has been labelled as the ‘law of attraction’ and it gives us power.
  2. The law of opposites, which gives us opportunity.
  3. The gift of wisdom, which gives us discernment.
  4. The joy of wonder, which gives us imagination.
  5. The presence of cycles, which gives us eternity.

These life principles are the mechanisms of manifestation, regulating the process of personal creation, by which we can express ourselves in thought, word and deed. These principles are a continuous source of power, continuously on, whether we are conscious of them or not.

The power of personal creation

The energy of attraction has been espoused for millennia, in various instructions and descriptions. You’ll no doubt recognise some of these:

“As you sow, so shall you reap.”

“As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.”

“Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive, because your words become your behaviours. Keep your behaviours positive, because your behaviours become your habits. Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny.” ~ Gandhi

“Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.” ~ Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, either way you are right.” ~ Henry Ford

“All that we are is a result of what we have thought.” ~ Buddha

“Everyone creates realities based on their own personal beliefs. These beliefs are so powerful that they can create (expansive or entrapping) realities over and over.” ~ Kuan Yin

What you focus on, what you use the energies of life to create, you can create.

The energy of attraction:

I’ve decided to change my script and I’m working on my vision. As we grow it’s to be expected that we will fall back into old thought patterns. I was fortunate that at my lowest ebb I was in the right place at the right time to hear exactly what I needed to hear. It felt like the speaker was talking directly to me…

There were plenty of of aha! moments. I realised I hadn’t been a good gardener. I had allowed the weeds of my mind to take a strangle hold of the flowers. Because certain aspects of my life hadn’t yet worked out how I wanted them to, my sponsoring thoughts were coming from a place of lack and I had perpetuated those thoughts.

He made it clear that problems arise when we don’t have a clear vision and control over our thoughts and daily habits.  Your mind becomes more powerful where you direct its energy.

He told us to work on our recovery time from setback or defeat. That’s where I had come a cropper. What we say emotionally is deeply imprinted on our mind and comes about.

Had he been a fly on my wall?!

He asked: why don’t we do what we know to do? He told us what we needed reminding of: that we all have blocks, fears and doubts which have been created through past experiences, which influence our current decisions.

He told all of us in the room to let our negative emotions go, to shake them off. He said: “You’ll never ever, ever outperform your set autopilot.”

That’s why we have to get our sub-conscious mind working for us instead of against us. The subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between reality and an intensely imagined experience.

“The unconscious self is the real genius. Your breathing goes wrong the moment your conscious self meddles with it.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Our thoughts and programmes will try and talk us out of our greatness. He did a hilarious sketch about getting all the committee members of our brains on board.

Captain Frontal Lobe is the cheerleader and motivator. He is up for anything. Colonel Amygdala is the cautious one, where emotions are processed, analysing all aspects of what captain frontal lobe is proposing.

General Limbic brain is the most ancient of the committee members, storing every negative or embarrassing scene from our childhood memories. Under no circumstances is he going to give his approval for us to potentially fail again. Sargent Motor Cortex is responsible for helping captain frontal lobe put his ambitious plans into action. Oh boy, it’s a maelstrom of desire, resistance and fear.

If we listen to the limbic brain we start to believe his assertions that we’re not good enough, or that we don’t deserve this. The little voice is suddenly loud and clear: Better to be safe than sorry.

Skillset Vs. Mindset

Although both are fundamental to any achievement, skillset is much less important that mindset. Success is 80% mindset and 20% skillset.

I have vivid memories of learning to swim when I was eight years old. My father used to try to eliminate my fear of water by throwing me in to pool, but that didn’t work.  It made me scream and run and frustrated him. When I was left to my own devices I would aim to move through the water just by tiny increments.

I would then move a little further away from the side each time and swim back to the wall. My skill level hadn’t significantly improved after each attempt, but what did grow was my self-belief. I just decided that I was going to make it to the side. It wasn’t graceful; my arms and legs were thrashing about and I was spluttering, but as my mindset became more positive so my skills grew in tandem.

I went very quickly from being terrified of water to a confident and competent swimmer. Action cures fear. Doing the thing we fear innoculates us against that fear.

The Law of Opposites

Once I understood this principle I was able to see my circumstances objectively, I could see how I had hoodwinked myself.

Another spiritual teacher explained it this way: In the absence of that which you are not; that which you are is not.

I had to really think about that. Essentially the law of opposites is a contextual field that exists in order for us to create.

The moment we invoke the law of attraction and focus on something we wish to be, do, or have, the law of opposites comes into play. In our two dimensional physical reality everything is polarised. We cannot experience love without hate, happiness without sadness, hope without despair, hot without cold, positive without negative, peace without war.

“He who has never hoped can never despair.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

If you take away the opposite of something it cannot exist experientially. So the moment we decide we are going to achieve a certain goal or dream, we immediately experience that which is not our goal/dream. The exact opposite turns up.

We might assume that the law of attraction does not work for us, only for others, because we have attracted the very antithesis of what we wanted. This is where I had got stuck. It’s easy in this stage to feel discouraged or to assume that we can’t do it. We buy into the illusion that we are not supposed to have it, or tell ourselves it’s not meant to be.

He used the acronym SATAN: Saying Anything As Negative.

However, the very appearance of these experiential opposites proves that we are indeed successfully using the law of attraction. The two cannot exist without each other.

This made me feel a whole lot better!

Whatever we set our minds and hearts to in life there will be challenges. That is a given. The universe will require us to go deeper, to learn that failure isn’t really failure, to believe without doubt and to ‘judge not by appearances’.

Our circumstances can change for the better if we don’t get bogged down in them when they are less than easy or uncomfortable for us.

On the path to greatness we are going to face obstacles and enemies. But if we can move from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm we will prevail.

Sergio Garcia was widely considered the best golfer in the world never to have won a major. But in April in Augusta he won the daddy of major’s, The Masters. This was after 19 years of professional competition. It was his moment. He was patient and persistent.

“A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, The one I feed the most.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Don’t let discouragement stop you in your tracks or make you change your intention. Give yourself permission to continue to call forth that which you wish to create.

The Gift of Wisdom

This gift is utilised when the Law of Opposites presents its effect in your daily life. When you have magnetised and contextualised your creations you get to discern and decide how to manifest the life you want. Using your inner wisdom is how you remain positive in the face of what appears to be overwhelming challenges, those moments when you are faced with a reality that is anything other than what you had imagined.

Neale Donald Walsh describes a person who succumbs to this principle as ‘a magician who has forgotten his own tricks’.

Move with clarity through the contextual field and invoke the law of attraction again and again inside the contextual field that you have created. All wisdom lies within you. You know internally higher truth. Discernment allows you to see things as they really are.

“Not many people are willing to give failure a second opportunity.” ~ Joseph Sugarman

Wisdom helps us to see and accept failure as a blessing in disguise and bounce back.

Each problem that we encounter as a result of the law of opposites carries a hidden opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The challenge is to be able to recognise the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit and turn it into an opportunity. The challenges are really gifts. This requires a shift in perception. There certainly have been times I wished that God wasn’t so generous!!

With wisdom we can celebrate all of life’s lessons.

I love the way Wayne Dyer explains inner wisdom in his trademark humorous style as he talks of being inside a house during a power cut and all the lights go off. He has lost his keys, but because there is a light on outside in the street he decides to look for his keys there rather than fumble around in the dark. A friend comes along and asks what he is doing. He explains that he has lost his keys and they look for them together under the street light.

Eventually the friend asks him where he last had his keys, to which Wayne replies that he had them inside his house. It’s a ludicrous scenario, yet that is what we do regularly in our thinking. We look externally for answers, when the source is inside us.

The Joy of Wonder  

All things are filled with wonder; it’s our natural state of being. Abundance isn’t what we have. It’s not about ‘stuff’, but about what we are BEING. Life is an extraordinary journey to express our real selves, our inner beings.  Heartfelt gratitude puts us in touch with the part of ourselves that has no limits. When we are grateful, we have enough and we ARE enough.

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire; you will what you imagine; and at last you create what you will. ~ George Bernard Shaw (Back to Methuselah)

I’m constantly learning from my children, who exhibit the most enthusiastic wonderment at times. Wonder is the antidote to cynicism. Stepping out in nature is a great way to awaken wonderment. Witnessing the miracle of our planet, all the living creatures that live here with us, and indeed, the human body, the most amazing piece of equipment we will ever own. Whatever we appreciate appreciates.

The Presence of Cycles

There is no straight line in the universe. The movement of energy and mass creates the experience of infinity.  Energy cannot be destroyed, it merely changes form. There is no start and no finish, therefore patience is one of the most important elements in applying the Law of Attraction.

As much as I love the summer, I wouldn’t appreciate it as much without having experienced winter. Cosmic forces and the seasons of nature are always in flow, bringing different blessings and challenges as they come and go. We must work with the cycle we’re in.

The purpose of these energies and principles is to allow life to preserve itself, for all those lives you touch and for you. The law of energy empowers us to empower others. I heard a saying that I never really understood before, but it makes more sense now: if you help enough other people get what they want, you will get what you want.

It means working through the lives of others. It’s having a service oriented attitude. Do unto others as you would have it done unto you is a spiritual teaching at the core of the Law of Attraction.

How many lives can you touch? Expanding the use of universal energy is known as the multiplier effect. If you want to be wealthy you will achieve one level, but if you make 100 people wealthy you will have multiplied the energy exponentially.

“There is the eternal war between those who are in the world for what they can get out of it and those who are in the world to make it a better place for everybody to live in.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

What flows through you sticks to you. What you give to another you give to yourself, as at the level of spirit we are all ONE. It’s moving away from a me first attitude to giving of ourselves.

Be the source of THAT which you wish to experience in your own life. Be the source of THAT in the life of another.

It is a lifelong process to attain mastery over oneself, but if we learn to harness the principles of life, the universe will be our business partner.

I’ll leave you with an illuminating talk by Bob Proctor:

Let’s smash through that terror barrier!

“What is life but a series of inspired follies?” ~ George Bernard Shaw (Pygmalion)

How Should we Perceive Failure and Success?

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” ~ Truman Capote

None of us are immune to vicious slurs or criticism. Nicknames and labels such as ‘loser’ and ‘washout’ and other derogatory terms only serve to further stigmatise the social perception of failure. Or, if I can put it another way, the fear of being called, labelled or thought of as a failure is a fate worse than death for most of us (me included).

parentingI have a  sweet memory of my dad from when I was about six years old, and I was upset after I had been bullied in the local park. He told me a rhyme. Most likely many parents have used it themselves, and I certainly have with my kids. “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”

However, I’ve often found verbal violence more insidious than physical violence. It can be harder to brush off.  Somehow emotional wounds seem to last longer and cut you to the core. What if they have a point?

If you look closely at someone’s motivations for dissing you or your work, you may see that jealousy, and their own feeling of inadequacy or lack of understanding to be on their emotional agenda. There’s a big difference between constructively helping someone improve and handing out a character assassination or cruel taunts.

Marianne Williamson asserts that it’s not our failures we are most afraid of, but our successes. Fear in any form is worth remembering as False Evidence Appearing Real.

Let’s face it – none of us would do anything if we constantly worried about the outcome. We just have to do our best and be okay with the consequences. Once those negative thoughts take over it’s very difficult to motivate yourself for future projects and work.

success-is-the-ability-to-go-from-failure-to-failure-without-losing-your-enthusiasm-failure-quoteI remember reading the story of Rachmaninoff’s first symphony, which had a disastrous premiere in 1897, and on top of that the work was given disparaging comments from music critics. Rachmaninoff was left feeling depressed and didn’t compose any major works for quite some time.  Luckily for us he bounced back and produced his much loved legacy of orchestral and piano music, including his immortal piano concerto number 2, which is universally adored. What if he had given up when the going got tough? The same can be said of Beethoven, and many other artists and composers.

Walt Disney approached many banks to get his theme park off the ground. Michael Jordan missed a lot of shots.  The best of us have failed, and failed spectacularly.  Edison ‘failed his way to success’.

It takes courage to express yourself authentically in your work and your life. Opinion is a fickle commodity, and should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Everything in literature, art and music is highly subjective, and will be approached by people from their own unique filter and experiences. The main opinion that matters about you and your life is yours. I’m not saying we shouldn’t strive to please, but we shouldn’t let other people’s opinions rule us. It’s good to take counsel, have constructive feedback, but ultimately the decisions we make should come from our own heart.

That said, it can be tricky to maintain a positive attitude when you are pursuing a dream, but others looking in don’t quite see it that way and are enthusiastic about telling you!

Theodore Roosevelt ~ The Man in the Arena:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

I think that Rudyard Kipling also summed up the attitude of resilience beautifully in his poem IF:

I have listed a few personal thoughts on the subject I hope you will find helpful in dealing with the fickle beasts of ‘success and failure’. Let’s learn to treat those two impostors just the same!

5 Tips for keeping Mentally Strong

  1. It helps not to think of things in terms of success and failure. Very often a situation or result that could traditionally be deemed as a ‘failure’ will later manifest as a success down the road, in ways that you can never comprehend at the time.
  2. It’s up to you to decide what means the most to you. What is it that will give you satisfaction and fulfilment regardless of the outcome? Your friends and family and wider social circle aren’t the ones walking in your shoes.
  3. a-woman-is-like-a-tea-bag-you-cant-tell-how-strong-she-is-until-you-put-her-in-hot-water-quote-1Many of the experiences that I considered as the lowest points in my life have served to strengthen me and give me the courage to know that if I overcame that then I can overcome this… What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
  4. Persistence is more important than talent. You can learn what you need to know, try and fall short, try again, change and learn from what you are doing, (except perhaps how to be an astronaut or a brain surgeon!). With each draft of my novel I learnt more, and I’m still a beginner on my writing journey. Very often we learn best kinesthetically, by actually doing something. Our brains develop plasticity and memory to enable us to improve at an activity. Toddlers don’t say, ‘right, that’s it mummy and daddy, you’re going to have to carry me around for the rest of my life, I can’t walk!’ No, they can see everyone else walking and they are going to do it come hell or high water.
  5. Don’t beat yourself up if something doesn’t go according to plan. I have been the worst when it comes to mental self-flagellation, but it only serves to bring you down even more. Very often, the works that humanity consider to be of the highest pinnacle of achievement underwent many years of blood, sweat and tears, were revised and criticised, and perhaps weren’t appreciated fully at the time they were created. No experience is ever wasted. Encourage others, and soon that ethos will extend to your own life.

Don't Quit

Lastly, remember that any perceived ‘failure’ is only temporary unless you give up or don’t use the experience constructively.  Although we all feel better about having a measure of ‘success’ it’s nearly always our failures that we learn the most from, and without which we could not be successful in any definition of the word.

No one is perfect, so we should cut each other some slack. If you can love yourself, the well-meaning opinions and labels of others won’t be the crushing blow that defines who you are.

I don’t believe it’s right to judge how successful a person is purely by their bank account. Mother Teresa or Mahatma Gandhi would not have qualified for a life of inspiration or global icon status if their personal wealth was the only measure of their worth…

Einstein suggested that rather than striving to be a success, one should try to be a person of value. Wise words indeed.

In answer to the question posed by my title, we should not perceive success and failure as the be all and end all of everything. Perhaps we should just take the view that its all valuable life experience there to teach us something. And that’s the bottom line.

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” ~ Zig Ziglar