155 – June 4
“Sure, the world is full of trouble. But, as long as we have people undoing trouble, we have a pretty good world.”—Helen Keller
I have always felt that there is a rhyme and reason to the Universe, that justice does prevail in the long term, that life really is fair. It’s like a big bank account in the sky—my karmic bank account, if you will, where I record my debits and my credits. Some days I make deposits to its bank account, and some days I make withdrawals. I feel happy when my accounts are balanced.
Whenever bad things happen and I am once again going through challenges in my life, I feel I am building up credits in my Universal Bank Account. I work to overcome the obstacles, learn the lessons and tally the results of my actions. I sense that it won’t be long before my account is again overflowing and goodness and mercy will rain down on me once more.
When I do something stupid or with questionable integrity; when I say a harsh word to someone out of my own ill temper or lack of grace; when I miss the opportunity to help someone when I easily could have; then, oh, then I feel the weight of the black debits eating up the golden store of good in my account. Funny how it’s just then that the car breaks down, the computer loses files, a friend breaks a date, a new client cancels.
Time for prayer and meditation and repentance. And then to do good wherever I can once more: Write a love letter to a friend, call business associates and ask what I can do to help them, write a check to a worthy cause. The balance shifts, the black debits retreat in confusion, and the golden rule creates yet more gold in my life, my work, my relationships.
What goes around, comes around. Watch it work. Check whether you are making deposits or withdrawals from your Universal Bank Account. It’s up to you. You fill it up and you deplete it.
Make sure to keep it filled up, because the Universal Bank Account always pays great dividends.
“I make many golden deposits to my Universal Bank Account and it showers me with riches!”
In one issue of Time Magazine, the cover story was “The Science of Optimism” by Tali Sharot. The question posed is “why are humans hard-wired for hope?”
The belief that the future will be much better than the past and present is known as the optimism bias. This holds true for every race, region and socioeconomic bracket. Even though we can be pessimistic about the world in general, the economy, politicians, etc., we stay optimistic about our own futures. The article states that “A survey conducted in 2007 found that while 70% thought families in general were less successful than in their parents’ day, 76% of respondents were optimistic about the future of their own family.”
“A growing body of scientific evidence points to the conclusion that optimism may be hardwired by evolution into the human brain. The science of optimism, once scorned as an intellectually suspect province of pep rallies and smiley faces, is opening a new window on the workings of human consciousness. What it shows could fuel a revolution in psychology, as the field comes to grips with accumulating evidence that our brains aren’t just stamped by the past. They are constantly being shaped by the future.”
This is cause for celebration for all of us who believe that we create our lives from our thoughts and that what we focus on is what we create. The idea that the proclivity for optimism is a genetic imperative – that without it, we would be too afraid to drive, to quit our jobs, to start new businesses, to go to college, to fly a plane, go to the moon, or anything else human beings accomplish – gives scientific legitimacy to our beliefs.
The article says that researchers studying heart-disease patients found that optimists are more likely than pessimistic patients to take vitamins, eat low-fat diets and exercise, thereby reducing coronary risk. Pessimistic patients under 60 were more likely to die within eight months than optimistic patients of the same initial health, status and age. We have to have a vision of a successful outcome to drive us forward to do the things that pay off. “A brain that doesn’t expect good results lacks a signal telling it, “Take notice – wrong answer!” These brains will fail to learn from their mistakes and are less likely to improve over time.”
Here’s my favorite bit: The author and her colleague, Sara Bengtsson, devised an experiment in which they tested students on cognitive task, priming them with either negative words like “stupid” and “ignorant” or positive words such as “smart”, “intelligent”, and “clever.”
Is anyone reading this surprised that the students did better on the test when told they were smart instead of stupid?
Affirmations work, people! Do them every day!