You (Alone) Are the Creator of You
The most thriving, successful, joyful, expansive career that you could ever imagine for yourself exists right now, in this moment, as a possibility that can be realized by you at any time. While it may not yet be known to you, it is a vision of you operating at your highest capacity, firing on all cylinders, living in the flow, and being fueled by a continually renewed passion for whatever you are engaged in. This vision includes not just yourself and your own personal sense of accomplishment, but encompasses also the abundance that flows into and out of your life, and the people with whom you deeply desire to share those resources. It includes not just the arena of work and career expression, but all of the things you want to build and create in your life: the personal mastery you desire, the adventures you are seeking, and all of those you desire to experience them with.
Whether you define your ideal career as starting your own business, rising to a desired position within the company you currently work for or wish to work for, or landing your very first job, the essence of this vision already exists within you, in your heart of hearts. You have been dreaming it into place, frame by frame, in response to the precise experiences your life has caused you to desire. From all the days you have worked in a job that was less than satisfying, or watched others do the same, you have drawn some very clear conclusions about the kind of vocation that would be most pleasing to you. Conclusions such as:
- I want a greater sense of freedom.
- I want to spend my time doing things I sincerely love to do.
- I want greater control over the amount of money that flows into my life.
- I want to feel the exhilaration of a new idea being born within me, and the sensation of empowerment as I run with that new idea.
- I want to attract other solid, stable, happy, productive, effective people with whom I can co-create.
For all of the days of your life, you have been dreaming about a career expression that would serve as a conduit for this degree of quantum success, and the universe has been a silent witness to that dream as it has evolved within you, thought by thought, idea by idea. And the person you will become as you allow this dream to unfold into full physical manifestation will fill you with the joy, enthusiasm, passion, and sense of aliveness that makes life worth living.
Upending the Superstition of Materialism
The information that follows HAS the power to usher you into an entirely new way of relating, not just to your career, but to every other aspect of yourself and your life as well. In this chapter, I seek to bring into the light of our current awareness some of the very outdated perceptions we hold about ourselves, the universe in which we live, and life in general. These worldviews, if allowed to persist, will prevent you not only from creating a flourishing career, but from coming to know yourself as the powerful creator you were born to be.
We live in an age when science and modern physics have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that everything that appears material and static is actually made up of an ever-moving sea of energy—including the flesh, bones, and molecules of our own physical bodies—yet most of us still do not see ourselves through this expansive lens. Instead, we relate to ourselves and to everything around us through a worldview that Deepak Chopra, in his 2009 book Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, has brilliantly termed “the superstition of materialism.”3 Deepak explains the essence of this phrase, saying, “The essential nature of the material world is not material. The essential nature of the physical world is not physical. The essential stuff of the universe is non-stuff.” So too, in the same way that nearly five hundred years ago Nicolaus Copernicus upended the ridiculous notion that the world is flat, we must overturn some of the grossly outdated notions about ourselves and the universe in which we live, for these are standing squarely in our way of knowing our full creative power and living the joyful experience we all sense is possible within our hearts. Until we dismantle these limiting mind-sets, we will continue to navigate our lives according to a map that is now entirely obsolete.
Controlling Your Own Emotional Dial
In the same way you now have access to thousands of different programs on your smart TV, all manner of life experiences, both wanted and unwanted, are available to each one of us in every moment—because each one of us has access to the full range of human emotions. And when I say the full range, I mean every feeling along a huge emotional spectrum, all the way from the devastating to the sublime. Every one of these emotions, and the life experience it correlates with, is as readily accessible as a channel called up by your TV remote.
Like the satellite signals and radio waves that flow freely through the airwaves, every emotion is an energetic frequency that we have the ability to tune in to, twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. The question is, in relation to your career, what range of emotions is your dial set to receive? And what “programs” do you find yourself tuning in to on a regular or even daily basis? Now, these are some pretty broad questions, so let’s narrow it a bit.
When you bring to mind a vision of you at the center of a successful, thriving, abundant career, what are the dominant emotions that this thought conjures within you? Are they feelings of confidence and eager anticipation? Or is the bank of thoughts you have most ready access to more in the neighborhood of doubt, pessimism, or fear? When you think about the subject of money, is the dominant feeling within you one of freedom, lightness, ease, and possibility, or one of anxiety, struggle, and dread? Understanding the emotional responses that come up most frequently when you consider your own career success is vital. Because your experience of reality is generated based on the energetic frequency you most dominantly offer—and your emotions provide tangible, visceral feedback about whether you are in a state of alignment with or resistance to your own desire.
Conjuring the Essence of Quantum Success
Beneath your desire to mold your career to conform to a specific image or to produce a specific result, there is a deeper desire to feel a particular way as you express yourself in this area of your life. This is true of any desire, big or small, that arises in any part of your life—whether it’s to remodel your home, meet your soul mate, or get your body back in shape. On the surface, these might seem like common enough goals that are worth pursuing for their own sake, but look deeper and you’ll discover that the reason you want to create any of them is because you believe that in having them, you will feel better in some way. To uncover the deeper feelings that are driving your desire to create quantum success in your career, you need only ask yourself, “Why do I want this?” and “What is the feeling I believe I will experience in the having of it?”
To try this on in your own life, bring to mind the vision of the success you desire in the area of your career, and go past the outer appearances of what you want to create, to the inner feelings you believe that creation will bring you. If you desire success because you believe it is an avenue for earning more money, for example, go deeper to uncover the feeling that you believe the money will bring. You’re probably not drawn to having more money because you like the way it looks, or because you enjoy the feeling of paper between your fingers. It’s more likely that you want greater financial prosperity because you are longing to experience a deep, essential feeling that you believe will be yours in the having of that. It might be a feeling of worthiness, of empowerment, of self-love, or of freedom, just to name a few.
Living Into Your Future
The status quo you are now living—especially in the arena of your career—is functioning exactly like a gravitational force that is made up of all of the experiences, conclusions, and stories you have come to believe and to expect as a result of everything you have lived in the past. Your habitual actions, your most familiar patterns of thought, and the mood or attitude that you most consistently offer when you go to work or think about your ideal career all have an energetic or vibrational momentum to them. When you think, do, and conclude the same things (much of which is unconscious) over and over, day after day, deep grooves are formed within the brain’s neural pathways. And like traveling on a well-worn road, the more practiced you become in these habits of thought and perception, the easier they are to perpetuate. Unless you disrupt this momentum and replace it with a different one, it will continue.
In order to create a future that is more, better, and different than anything you have lived in the past, you will have to overcome the drag of this gravitational force in the same way that a spaceship must break out of the earth’s atmosphere before it can move with any efficiency toward its destination. To do this, you will have to learn to give more attention—and therefore more credence—to the reality you desire to create in the future than to the reality you are presently living.
Right now, there are actually thousands of possible futures that you could live into—in your career expression and in all other aspects of your life. Depending on the choices you make today, you could create a future career expression that you would experience as depressing and disempowering, and you could just as easily call into being a future that is awesome beyond anything you’ve ever imagined. In every moment—by virtue of the thoughts you think, the perspectives you hold, and the mood or feeling state you bring to each action you take—you are nourishing into existence one of two future realities. You are either creating the future experience of your ideal career, or you are creating the continuation of your current experience. It all comes down to which possibility you are using as a focal point of the majority of your attention.
Creating the Climate for Quantum Success
Long before others know anything about you, or make the decision to hire you for a position or to bring you into an important project, they have already begun to gather essential information about you on a subtle or vibrational level. On the surface, they are of course making assessments about the way you are dressed and the words you choose when you speak; but, energetically speaking, there is much more going on in every encounter than meets the eye.
The more deliberate you are about the way you present yourself, the more others will get who you are at a more subtle and powerful level than can be conveyed with words. As Jack Canfield once pointed out, “You can’t become a $10,000-a-day keynote speaker if everything about you is consistent with a speaker who earns $1,000 a day.” By consciously creating a climate of success around you, you will naturally evoke a different perception—and therefore a different level of participation—from everyone you interact with.
Hand in hand with creating a clear vision of your successful future career is creating an environment around you that invites, encourages, and nurtures that ongoing success. The people in our lives—including our friends and family as well as our colleagues and business associates—are continually reflecting back to us the same degree of impeccability that we demonstrate through our attitudes and actions alike.
Pruning as a Catalyst for Growth
Most of us were taught that if we want to make things happen in our lives, then we need to bring to bear the full force of our focus, conviction, and determination in a kind of “pedal to the metal” attitude. I, for one, was definitely raised with the belief that if I wanted to be successful, I needed to work hard and go after what I wanted with intensity. And this was the way I operated, with some measure of success, for the first decade of my adult life. But what I now understand is that, while applying effort is an important part of deliberate creating, most of us misunderstand which of our efforts actually yield the best results. Too often under the guise of manifesting our desires, we are actually attempting to control how, when, where, and with whom our desires will be fulfilled. And this not only gets us into trouble when things are unfolding differently than we’ve envisioned, but it also prevents us from seeing any possibilities that exist outside of our preconceived picture.
It’s great to visualize, daydream, plan, and set goals, but at some point, we need to trust that these efforts have already been set into motion, and allow things to manifest in their own way and in their own time. Clinging too rigidly to a fixed idea of how things should be blinds us to the wisdom we can gain by appreciating them as they are, in the same way that trying too hard to force solutions to problems only creates more problems.
The universe holds a bird’s-eye view of our lives and is more than capable of managing all the pieces of the puzzle comprising what each of us has come to conceive of as our ideal career expression. When we surrender our attachment to needing to know how, who, what, when, and where it will happen, and place our attention instead on simply aligning ourselves in heart and mind with the essence of our desire, the universe makes it happen for us. There is no pushing, shoving, manipulating, painstaking planning, or any of the other strategies that we’ve been taught to use to go after what we want. By surrendering the illusion that we are in control and simply allowing things to unfold, we summon the power of the Law of Detachment, which states that the fastest way to manifest any outcome is to relinquish our attachment to it.