My mother called me a few weeks ago and told me to Tivo Oprah. She said it would change my life, so I figured it must be something really good. I do not normally make a habit out of watching Oprah, even if I am home all day only 40 feet from the nearest television set. Still, I decided to Tivo it and I sat down to watch it just recently. I am glad I did, even though what she was talking about was not anything different than how we try to live our life anyway. It was about the power of positive thinking, of making things happen for yourself and pushing negativity out of your life. It was about the movie “The Secret”.
Now, coming on the heels of yesterday’s post about my mother’s finances, this post might be seen as rather strange. She was telling me how it has changed her thinking, but nothing has been done about her finances yet. Hmmm…
But back to the story at hand. A long time ago I caught a piece of The Secret on YouTube or Google Video and thought “well, this is nothing new”. It was only a small snippet of the movie and didn’t really tell me anything I did not already know. So when I caught the story on Oprah, I was interested to hear what the panel had to say. The main point they had was that the universe will give back what you create for yourself. Duh. Good thoughts bring good fortune because a positive attitude helps to create good things for you, while negativity only breeds discontent. A few examples of how things turn out when you start thinking positively about your life:
My wife and I talked about wanting to move to the beach for quite some time. We went back and forth, trying to decide if we could afford it and what we would be willing to give up in exchange for living by the water. Well, one day we were down here just walking around (not looking for a place) and our present apartment presented itself to us. The place was not advertised anywhere except for a small sign out front that said “Come on in”…and it had been available for almost 2 months with no takers. Well needless to say we took the place after looking inside and moved in shortly thereafter. We were not really looking to move yet, but the opportunity presented itself. Was it fate? I am not sure that I believe fully in fate, but something put that rental there and we walked down this street for some reason, whatever it may be.
After 4 years at my last job and about 1.5 of being unhappy with where I was in life, I talked to several friends and my grandmother about what I should do. I had been looking for a new job but nothing great had come along in a few months and I was getting desperate. You know what they all said? They said “You need to quit that job in order for something better to come along. You are not open to anything new because you are so unhappy at that place and you cannot see beyond that.” So I quit. And sure enough, only a few days after I gave notice, I landed the job I have now which allows me to work from home, set my own hours, and continue to live the life we have set up for ourselves. Weird, huh?
So I am not really sure that The Secret is anything that I have not been doing for a while anyway. We always try to be positive, even in the light of discontent, because we realize that nothing good can come from being negative. When I look at the world around me I realize that even if you took away my money and my stuff, I still have a pretty damn good life compared to a lot of people that are having trouble. Money cannot buy happiness. It can buy you a safety net and lots of stuff, but it cannot make you truly happy. Stuff cannot make you truly happy. Sure, its nice to have money and stuff, but to be truly content you have to be content with yourself. The rest will follow, even if it is not right away.