It’s been three or four years since a publisher asked me to write a book. I’ve had plenty of other writing projects to keep me busy, my blog, this column, and research papers for journals, not to mention my practice and taking care of my wife and pets. I’m not looking for more to do, but I like having a book in the pipeline, and the fact that I didn’t have one was kind of nibbling on my brain.
As we approach milestones in our lives, we consciously and unconsciously make changes that help us reach that goal. My blog for Psychology Today was approaching 20 million views, and that’s something to be proud of. But as I got closer to the number, the views appeared to be slowing down. And it wasn’t an illusion, as other bloggers were posting about “the drop” due to Google’s new algorithms. It really didn’t bother me — well OK, it did. Even though I knew I would get to 20 million, hitting that number became very important.
Somewhere in the back of my mind, I not only equated reaching 20 million with my own satisfaction but was thinking that after I reached it, magically, a book contract would pop out of my computer, and I would again be deep into another creative project. This motivated me to just keep posting, and I did.
Once I hit the magic number, I got a few congratulatory emails, tons of views, and a sense of having done something that was recognized as being helpful to my community of readers — but I still had no book contract, and now I began to wonder why. After all, I had good reason to expect a call. Most of my books had come out of the blue in this way, and one book had led to another, but having been off the charts for a bit, perhaps I’d fallen off the publishing radar as well. Still, I opened the computer every morning, thinking, “Well, maybe today.”
It wasn’t a bad month or two. Lots of things to write about. Lots of powerful energy going on around me. Waking, walking and writing had become my focus. My wife was away, and I had to take care of our little dog who was recovering from an injury. We walk two or three times a day, and on those walks I imagined how I would rebalance my life when my other half returned, our dog-child was healed, and I had this new, imaginary project to complete.
All this time, I did not realize that I was using a tool I had learned decades ago and have shared with many clients. I was visualizing my goal of writing a new book. Generally, when I use visualization, it is directed and very conscious. But this time, I didn’t think of my thoughts as having the same power. Guess I wasn’t aware of how strong our passing thoughts can be!
My blog was on fire, a million views in two months now at 21 million, so I was feeling pretty good about my work. But not as good as I did when I got the email asking me to write a book on — get this — Visualization for Success! The amazing truth is that visualizing the proposal kept me going, kept me working hard, and that the results brought about the proposal.
The lessons are very clear. Our thoughts do create our reality, and we are almost always thinking. If you keep the thoughts positive, more good things happen. You can create a lot of what you want with intention and some internal visioning, and most of the time it’s easier than you think. So what’s stopping you?
(Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author of “The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.” Follow his daily insights on Twitter at @BartonGoldsmith
©2020 Barton Goldsmith
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