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I don’t know if it’s just me- frequenting New Age Bookstores and hanging out with people who don’t believe in coincidences, but it sure seems like a lot’s being said about The Law of Attraction. Simply stated, it’s summed up in the idea that thoughts become things. This “Secret” has been passed through the ages by philosophers and sages. In 1937, Napoleon Hill wrote in his classic self help book, Think and Grow Rich, “Conceive, believe, achieve.” It’s such a seductive notion, isn’t it? If you can imagine it, you can have it. Presto. Only it’s not that simple. Somewhere between conceive and achieve, ought to be written, “Work like hell!”

Quote_500_faithfreed_11Don’t get me wrong. I believe in dreaming big. I believe we can do it. In fact, we can likely do far more than we are even capable of imagining. So practicing envisioning what we want is a great place to start. Like Henry David Thoreau said, “In the end, you only hit what you aim at.” So conceive away!

By now, most folks have heard of the “Vision Board.” It’s a way to concretize your wishes and focus on them regularly. It works like this; put a picture of that new house you desire on a poster board, hang it up, look at it daily, and before you know it, you’ll be living in it. At least, that’s what happened to John Assaraf.  I have a couple of vision boards up right now, to keep me going in the direction of my dreams. If you want to make one, check out the process in my book, IS. Chapter 7, Intention/Surrender, includes this exercise at the end. Envisioning what you want is not just crucial, it’s fun.

Next, we believe. Experts say, the trick is to focus upon what you want, not what you don’t want. I hear the voice of Abraham, aka Esther Hicks, in my head. It makes sense, doesn’t it? With faith that, indeed, we can have what we want, we allow a favorable process to unfold. What makes it a little misleading is that just the believing itself doesn’t make it happen. We need to take action. Enter our old friend, hard work.

There comes a time when we must roll up our sleeves, dive in and do all the nitty gritty stuff. For imaginative optimists, this part is really a bore. Doing the day to day grunt work doesn’t feel so magical. And yet- it is the key. The good news is, if you love your work, then working hard is part of the magic. While you’re doing everything little thing that has to be done to get there, you’re losing yourself in the process and enjoying the step you’re on. Think of Stephen Curry. He works his tail off, not just during the game, but in practice. He may have talent, but did his success come easily? Nah. He earned it. And yet, you can see him getting lost in the hard work, totally in the zone. There’s a high that comes from immersing in the effort that’s reward in itself. You don’t have to be an NBA All-Star to experience that.

Next… it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for; achieve.  Notice what happens when the long anticipated result comes, because people often report that the moment of glory doesn’t feel as expected. When the shock of victory wears off, we look back wistfully at the process and realize that getting there was the real prize. If not for all our hard work, it wouldn’t have happened. Sweet satisfaction lies in knowing we did every little thing it took to get there. The win feels as good as the work we put in.