Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Difference Between Law of Attraction and Wishful Thinking (Part Two)

  A Case Study in Career Success and Suicide Starring Justin Bieber.  

Part Two:

As promised, today we will examine the difference between powerful Law of Attraction and weak Wishful Thinking in the arena of Success and Career, using a well-known youngster from up north as our example.

If you're willing, it may help to go back and read the post that precedes this one, "The Difference Between Law of Attraction and Wishful Thinking," Part One.

Consider your friend and mine, adolescent Canadian pop star Justin Bieber.

 It seems like so very long ago that we lived in a Bieberless world, but really, it was just a mere five years past that “Baby” and Bieber’s bangs burst on the scene (yes, I know that was a lot of alliteration, but I just couldn’t resist). 

And now, flash forward to 2014, and not only is Justin Bieber the notorious inspiration for the most popular petition ever since the White House launched this public service (273,000 Americans signed to get him deported), but during the Winter Olympics he was the subject of much-admired Chicago billboard that was touting a match between America and Canada in ice hockey:  “Loser Keeps Bieber.”

Our erstwhile friend (whose more recent hairstyles make him look like an adorable lesbian in diaper pants) is also in the middle of several civil and criminal investigations, involving alleged drunk-driving, house-egging, LA paparrazo stomach-kicking, and other dubious activities, all of which added up, indicate that he has, in fact, grown up to be kind of a douche.

It’s not surprising, of course, that many adult Americans would hate a multi-million dollar tween dream—consider our history with Britney, Backstreet Boys, New Kids on the Block, Sean Cassidy, Davy Jones, etc.  Nor is it surprising that a 20-year-old kid with 40 million twitter followers would show a lack of taste, sensitivity, and maturity in his choice of leisure activities. 

No, what IS interesting, from a Law of Attraction/Wishful Thinking perspective, is just how quickly Justin Bieber manifested both his fame and his infamy.

 By contrast, it took the other Justin, Justin Timberlake, quite a bit longer to do both. But then, he was saddled for the first several years of his career with the rest of  "N Sync.  Oh, Lance Bass.  The less said about you, the better. (By the way, Justin Timberlake is the only boy-band escapee in history to launch a serious career as an adult artist, so major props to him for that.  If you don’t believe me, look it up).

So, Back to the Justin currently under investigation.  How did Justin Bieber manifest his millions like a Law of Attraction superstar, and why is it Wishful Thinking on his team’s part to assume that one more Top 40 hit is all we need to fall in love with him all over again? 

Baby, baby, baby, Noooooo!

Apparently, so the story goes, we have Usher and Youtube to thank for the original advent of Bieber’s fame.  Bieber’s mom put up a bunch of home videos of Justin singing in talent contests, which were stumbled upon by an American talent manager named Scooter Braun, who then passed him on to another gifted singer-dancer named Usher Raymond, who then got him a contract with music mogul L.A. Reid.

But.  Before that.

Again, according to the official story, Justin managed most of his early musical development by himself.  He is self-taught on piano, drums, guitar, and trumpet, and if you’ve ever seen any of his concert footage, you know the kid is a ridiculously good dancer.   Like, Michael Jackson during the non-shameful years good.

So, whatever else we might say of Justin, we can see that he was definitely doing more than most kids—and most adults—in terms of developing his innate talent and creating his future desired reality in terms of career.  He was not, in fact, just sitting around watching reality shows on MTV and dreaming his own private dream.

By the time he was fourteen, he was entering local talent contests and winning.  And the video footage was enough to impress a very shrewd talent manager who came across the Youtube clips “by accident.”  (Here, we see the hand of what the Vikings called “fate,” and most of us call “luck,” and metaphysicians call “The Law of Attraction.”)

Even after Justin was picked up by Scooter, Usher, and L.A. Reid, the story goes that radio stations didn’t want to play his songs. Apparently they felt there was no market for a fourteen-year-old boy on the radio.  So, just like an 80’s teen star named Tiffany did two decades before him, Justin took to the road, visiting radio stations and malls to expand his brand in the marketplace.

Which meant that he was already “acting as if.”

And you know what?  People, especially twelve-year-old girl people, were all over that shit.  They said, “why yes, I WOULD like the chance to go crazy over my generation’s beguiling moppet-haired, big-eyed, sweet-voiced media darling.”

(This is the part that amuses me: that anyone savvy in media history would find Justin’s rise at all unexpected.  We can go all the way back to 1964 and blame the Beatles, but there’s so many more recent examples to prove that tween and teenage girls are not to be denied when it comes to their perpetual desire to cover themselves in glitter and scream themselves hoarse.)

Again, by all accounts, the young Justin was fairly open-hearted and minded.  He loved singing and dancing, he worked hard to get really good at both, and he wanted to show that off in front of a whole lot of people. 

And because he apparently didn’t have a lot of internal crap, or crap from his family, about why this would be a bad thing to do, he got on with it, and was duly rewarded for his mostly positive energy with a great career.  Good Law of Attraction in action.

Then, Justin proceeded to trash this career by being an idiot, long before he had earned the respect of anyone but twelve-year old girls, some of who, like the fickle beasts they are, have since grown up or defected to One Direction. 

The bad-boy thing is cool if you’re Tommy Lee and you’ve got Pam Anderson to play it out with, but $10,000 of egging-damage to a house when you’re almost 20 years old? Just not in the same league.

And now, his name is Mud, and he probably doesn’t feel that great about it, no matter how much money or power he has. 

It can’t feel that good to know that over a quarter MILLION Americans put their name on a petition to get rid of you.  Or that the United States and Canada are fake-fighting about who has to keep you.

As supporting evidence for my last statement, I offer up the name of Justin’s latest song (released on Twitter), appropriately titled, “Hard 2 Face Reality.”

The problem with Law of Attraction is that it works both ways, for good and for ill. No matter what you are, you just keep attracting more of that.

Now that Justin’s got a sad international bad-joke vibe set in place, I predict that it’s going to be pure wishful thinking on his part to imagine himself magically re-invented as a respected artist and seeing this come to pass. 

No, I think the only hope for Justin is to spend some serious Brenee-Brown-Ted-Talk time and get in touch with his vulnerability, and then share some of that with us, and then maybe we’ll let him move onwards and upwards. 

It would also help if he stopped wearing diaper pants in public.

And now, for the rest of us.  What can we learn about our own consciousness and career from the Cautionary Tale of the Biebs?

I will address some of the highlights in my next post, and in upcoming posts about how to create, communicate, and grow a visionary brand as an Awakened Entrepreneur or Intrapreneur. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Difference Between Law of Attraction and Wishful Thinking (Part One)

A Case Study in Career Success and Suicide Starring Justin Bieber.

During a recent diner with my friend Fran Gallaher, an incredibly talented intuitive and executive coach (she specializes in helping highly-sensitive Empaths navigate the minefields of the marketplace), I found myself climbing on my philosophical pedestal and ranting to Fran about the difference between the recently popularized Law of Attraction and good old-fashioned Wishful Thinking. 

Now, those who know me will tell you it’s not big news that I found myself philosophically ranting (I spend a lot of time by myself, so tend to get carried away when I have a receptive audience), but rather that the receptive audience in this case was interested (or polite) enough to request that I write a blog post about this distinction. 

So this one’s for Fran, and also for all you other metaphysical fans who are re-inventing a brand while contemplating the spiritual laws of success and how they influence a career. 

What IS the difference between good “Law of Attraction” energy and weak wishful or “magical” thinking?

If you’re a person whose open-minded enough—or perhaps just temporarily desperate enough—to experiment with your own consciousness technology, you’ve probably noticed that there are times when you set an intention and see it come true almost immediately, and others when you find yourself waiting, and waiting, and waiting, for that desired result to manifest. 

Still waiting.  Any day now you’ll meet your dream man during your wildly successful book tour, while wearing your size 4 Prada dress.  Any. Day. Now.

There’s also some even worse times when you get a good positive vibe going about something (or so you believe) and what actually happens in the real world is pretty much its exact opposite—your dog dies, your house burns down, and the IRS sends investigators to see if it was you or your dog who’s guilty of arson.

This last thing is pretty much a summary of the last year of a good friend of mine.  She knows who she is, and if I exaggerate, I don’t do so by much.  The house did burn down.

My point is not that my friend did something wrong or wishful with her thinking, and so her house burned down as a result.  Her house burnt down because there were wildfires and her house was in the path. 

No, my point is that A) This consciousness stuff can be confusing and also that B) Sometimes shit just goes down and it's tragic and we wonder what in God's name we did to deserve our current results.  Really, Universe? Really?

(By the way, if you're a consciousness newbie--or a consciousness veteran who's gotten bitter through a bad run--please don't greet your friends' tragedies with empowering explanations about how their crappy energy attracted this dire thing.  No.  Give them your empathy and compassion and admit that what happened to them was terrible.  You and they can search for meaning at a later date).

So, with all this potential confusion, how do you tell whether you’re practicing good Law of Attraction vibes or just good old wishful thinking?

The short answer:  You don’t necessarily attract what you want.  You just attract more and more and more of What You Are.  Of course, “What You Are” can always change, and you have a lot of say in the matter.

The tricky thing about Law of Attraction is that the switch is always on.  So if you manage a couple nice interludes of Happy Thoughts for 30 seconds, interspersed with hours and hours of worry, fear, arrogance, anger, boredom, rigidity, struggle, etc., you will continue to attract people, situations, and responses that agree with your predominant and habitual way of being. 

Which doesn’t mean, by the way, that those 30 seconds of happy thoughts are a complete waste of time.  It just means that you will need to grow and expand those interludes until you have MORE authentic joy, excitement, aliveness, empathy, inspiration, confidence, etc. 

Until THOSE happier ways of responding become your predominant/habitual way of being, and you can save up your extremely worthwhile and valid anger, fear, shame, and sadness for appropriate occasions when you need them and they are the perfect emotions to have and express.  If you’ve read this blog before you know how I feel about Positive Thinking totalitarianism.

Wishful thinking is when you expect something drastic to change in the outside world without being willing to change very much internally.  It’s when you may talk a good game, try to sound positive, but your real feelings, your real actions, tell a different story—and still, you expect that somehow “everything will work out.” 

Well yes, in one sense, “everything” will, but don’t expect the “working out” to look too much different from what you’ve seen in the recent past.

Using Law of Attraction to your benefit is when you are wiling to change, when you are willing to become “good with money,” or “a good student,” or “lucky in love,” or “rich beyond reason,” and you understand that this change may take some serious attention, study, practice—whatever it takes for you to learn something new with an open mind and heart. 

And then, whatever time it takes for you to share that new version of your being with others.

As I was considering how to illustrate the difference between these two easily confused ontological approaches, I saw a story on the news (and by “news,” I mean those diabolical geniuses at E! News) that President Obama had received a petition signed by 273,000 Americans asking for the deportation of teenage pop star Justin Bieber.

Eureka! So perfect. 

Thank you to the Biebs for coming across the screen of my consciousness at the most marvelous time to demonstrate this difference.

Now.  The serious and high-minded among you may not like my mixing of serious philosophy with low pop culture such as is represented by Justin Bieber, but fortunately, Rhonda Byrne of The Secret has already paved my way in bringing metaphysics to the masses in a prepackaged form. 

Also, the great thing about metaphysics, and Law of Attraction, and Ways of the Universe in general, is that they are no respecter of taste or persons. 

The whole point is that this law, like gravity, works for or against everybody, and no one gets to opt out.  Both you, and me, and Justin Bieber must deal with the fact that we have “an energy” that attracts certain other compatible energies, and if we don’t like what’s manifesting in reality, it’s up to us to make a significant internal switch.

If you’re intrigued, or bored, or just frustrated enough by your own career’s failure to take off in post-Millennial magnificence, please tune in tomorrow for Part Two of this topic.