Does Believing Supersede Doing?

Do you believe that simply repeating your desires whether in your head, out loud, or in written form, will make them happen?

Yeah, me neither. But lately I have been tickled by the idea put forth by Scott Adams known as affirmations.

He has had more than a few things go his way supposedly aided by writing out the desired outcome fifteen times a day. Affirming the truth before it is true. His examples range from pricing successful stocks, going on dates with women far out of his league, and becoming a wildly successful cartoonist.

He is the first to admit that his methodology and sample size is far from scientific and that he may be willfully forgetting failed attempts at affirmations. Even with these caveats he is still very open about his belief in affirmations.

And I think I agree with him.

To be clear, I do not believe sitting on a couch watching Netflix and wishing for a million dollars 15 times a day on a piece of paper is wise idea. Even if it does somehow work, you will most likely have to spend your unlikely fortune contending with type 2 diabetes.

I’m talking about wanting something, really badly, and then getting it by going for it. And, yes, repeating to yourself that you will get that thing before it is so. Scott Adams didn’t sit back, write it down and forget it. He still actively worked to make his affirmations true.

But, but! What if you don’t get the thing?! Isn’t it risky to get your hopes up by believing in the far-fetched and challenging?!

Sure, I suppose it is. But isn’t it also risking not believing in yourself and your dreams at all? And isn’t it even more risky to not have any goals whatsoever?

I write that last line reluctantly because I know of a class of people who claim to be beyond goals. In their cosmic arrogance they say, “Why make a goal when the future is uncertain? It is a sure way to wind up in an unhappy rat race that ends in a meat grinder.” These folk live in a squishy zone of uncertainty and myopic nihilism. And, without fail, they still have goals, even if their goal is to be without desire, which is ironically perhaps the hardest goal to achieve.

The real issue here is that nobody is certain of the goal they want to dive headlong into. Often we hear people say they weren’t born with innate talent like Tesla or Mozart therefore they are doomed to wander aimlessly through life. Well Mozart had parents who basically glued his ass to a piano bench, good for him I guess? And Tesla had photographic memory, a horrible sense for business acumen, and died insanely jealous and poor. Einstein spent years as a patent clerk and most of his life in an unhappy marriage.

Innate talent is overrated. Find something you want to do, repeat to yourself that it will happen, and do it. Do not boast or brag about anything that has not happened. Better still, don’t brag or boast about anything that has happened. Own it and move on to the next goal. It is completely selfish. For all the bleeding altruists out there, don’t worry, outside of politics it’s impossible to better yourself and not better the lives of others.

The more you believe that you will, without doubt achieve the heights you seek, the more certain it will happen.

But be careful what you wish for, because when it does come true you will not be able to stop and you will be responsible. If that scares you, best go back to armchair criticism and leave life to the big girls out here.