The true person sees what the eye sees, and does
not add to it something that is not there. This
person hears what the ears hear, and does not
detect imaginary undertones or overtones. He or
she is not busy with hidden meanings.
Acting on the basis of what you believe is what brings about the conditions of your life and the degrees of happiness you have experienced. In the breakthrough 2004 film What the Bleep Do We Know!?, physicist and author Fred Alan Wolf, Ph.D., observes: "There is no 'Out There' out there, independent of what goes on in our minds." Take the story of Max. Max owned a thriving sandwich shop. There were almost always people waiting in line to eat at his little shop. He gave away free pickles, free potato chips, sometimes a free soft drink, and his sandwiches were famous for being overstuffed.
One day his son, who lived in a distant city, came to visit. They had a good visit, but as the son was leaving, he told his father, "Since I've been here, I've been observing how you run the sandwich shop, and I have to tell you for your own good that you're making a big mistake giving away all those extras. The country's economy is in bad shape. People are out of work, and they have less money to spend. If you don't cut back on the free items and on your portion sizes, you'll be in a bad way before long, too."
His father was amazed, thanked his son, and told him he would consider his advice.
After his son left, Max followed his son's advice. He stopped giving away free items and he cut back on the generous portions of food in his sandwiches. Before long, after many of his disappointed customers had stopped coming, he wrote to his son: "You were right! The country's economy is in bad shape, and I'm experiencing the results of it right here in my sandwich shop!"
The poor economy that the man's son saw all around him was real. Despite the poor economy, though, the father had been running a successful sandwich shop. He didn't realize that times were hard, that many people were out of work, and that money was scarce. He was treating everyone with great generosity and he was reaping the rewards that such actions always bring: a positive, generous outpouring of good things. But after his son told him about the "bad shape" the country was in, he began to act as if it were so, bringing about the only possible result--a negative, fearful, ungenerous experience of life, an experience that he believed was "out there." Was it "out there"?
The answers are never "out there." All the answers are "in there," inside you, waiting to be discovered.
Here's a personal example of how the power of a belief can influence our behavior and the events of our lives. When I was young I received many speeding tickets, and that behavior carried over into my adult life. I live in California, and one day in 1968 I received a notice from the California Department of Motor Vehicles saying that if I received one more ticket, my license would be suspended for a year. The state suggested that I go to a local DMV office and meet with one of their psychologists. At the meeting, the psychologist commented on the many speeding tickets I had received.
"Everyone gets speeding tickets," I replied defensively.
"That's not true," he informed me. "The average person in California gets only one ticket every four years."
I was amazed. I thought that everyone was like me and got speeding tickets all the time. After that meeting, I stopped getting speeding tickets. I'd had a destructive mindset, and as I believed, so it was for me. As you believe, so it is for you.
You are like a railroad switch. Each time an event occurs, you channel the activity onto the positive or the negative track. Even though the event hurt you or took something away from you, you are still in charge of channeling it onto a positive or a negative track. You determine its future outcome.
Have you ever had anything happen to you that seemed really bad at the time but later turned out to be beneficial--experiences where days, weeks, or even years later, you said, "That was the best thing that could have happened to me!" Everyone I've ever posed that question to has been able to remember several events like that.
It's time to look at all events in the light of that information. Learn to see that perfect truth now, in every situation. Condition yourself to see it at the moment each event occurs, and happiness will become your constant companion. You will save countless hours, days, and weeks of useless lamenting over situations that will always turn out to be for your benefit.