I have written this with the intent to help you on your path to self-actualization. Self-actualization is a concept that I learned somewhere along the way. It might even have been in high school. It is a principle of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs; “Self-actualization is the final level of psychological development that can be achieved when all basic and mental needs are essentially fulfilled and the “actualization” of the full personal potential takes place.” We are all on this path whether we realize it or not.
This letter and the process it describes is my approach for self-actualization. It is my gift to you. I know you have lived a fulfilling life in many ways yet you yearn for more as most of us do. Hopefully this will help you on your path.
The following approach is not my own, but a combination of personal experience and learning. It is based on hundreds if not thousands of hours of reading and listening to thought leaders, thousands of hours of introspection and a lifetime of trial and error.
My only proof of this philosophy is my own experience. Since my first truly mystical experience while in Africa with the Peace Corps, I have consciously created my life. Chaotic though it may seem from the outside, every circumstance that has befallen me, both good and bad for the last twenty-five years has happened through my direct intention.
My core spiritual belief is that each person has the ability to create his or her future. It is based upon the power of two key abilities that everyone possesses: Desire and Belief. Two very simple concepts to apply and understand and when they work in harmony their power is unlimited.
What is Desire? It is simply the wanting of something. Everybody is wanting something; time, money, freedom, love, etc. The first part of this process is to be very clear what it is you are wanting in every phase of your life. As you look ahead to your future, what are you wanting out of your life? What are your goals? Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 20 years? This is not about what stuff you want, but about who you want to be. What feelings do you want to be having at those points in time? My oldest friend, has a unique perspective about memories; he suggests that it is important to remember what you were feeling at a point in time more so than the details of the actual events. The concept of desire I am speaking of is the same thing but in the future. How do you want to feel in 5, 10, 20 years? Once you understand that concept, then you can color in those future memories with details to create a full picture of what you want your life to be.
The coloring in of those details is where I can help you. With practice you will become adept at visualizing your future. I highly recommend that you get a journal to begin coloring in those details. Initially, it may be difficult. You will have many thoughts and ideas, yet few that are actually clear. Over time your goal will be to add specificity and clarity and you will begin to truly see what you want your future to be. When you begin to get clarity, this is where belief comes in.
Once you become clear on what you want, the belief that you can have it comes next. Without belief, that future is just fantasy. Belief brings life to the picture. You need to believe that the future is possible and use your creativity to begin building the steps to get you there. You need to allow yourself to daydream and say to yourself, “What can I do today to get me one step closer to my desires?” You will find more and more ideas come to you over time. In the first few weeks and months, you may only have a few, but with each passing day your creativity will provide more ideas and take you down different paths until a single path becomes clear. With each small success, your belief will grow; with each bigger success your belief will become reality.
It sounds too simple, but it isn’t. It is too easy to get distracted with day-to-day life. This process requires persistence. Some people use the term faith. Other people equate this to be similar to praying. Others believe in karma or fate. Call it what you will, but there is a destiny for everyone. Most people just don’t realize that they have the power to create it; otherwise the universe creates it randomly for you. You may already realize that the universe can throw random acts at you if you are not deliberate in your creation. Most people go through life reacting to events as opposed to creating them.
This school of thought in the mainstream media is also called the Law of Attraction (LoA), which was made popular by the movie The Secret. Unfortunately, that movie and its following focused on acquiring stuff. My focus on is more about self-actualization and finding true happiness.
Desire and Belief has proven true for me so many times that I now take it for granted. I am currently at a place that I desired over a decade ago. One of the limitations of this is that you can only create your own future. You cannot create the future of someone else (except for maybe your children). That is one of the big differences between the LoA and concept of praying. Alternatively, if two people are co-creating a future together it is even that much more powerful.
I cannot completely explain in these few words what has taken me a lifetime to discern. Much of this may seem obvious to you, or it may seem off-the-wall. All I can offer is to help you along this path, pass on my techniques, and let you decide if it works for you.
I do this out of love for you as a fellow human being. If you are reading this, that means you have already begun to attract this knowledge. I have subtly taught my son these techniques, and I believe he will have an amazing life because of it. I too need to continue to work on this as well for myself. I have visualized this point in time, but I have not colored in the next ten years or so. It is a gap that I need to fill. I am a little lost for the first time in a long time without a clear future but I am excited about coloring in the details.
So, are you willing to take control of your future? Can you trust that the universe will provide all that you desire? The next step and each one thereafter is in your hands. You hold the ultimate power.