Long before I learned about the Law of Attraction, I realized that, if I could make any event real in my mind, that is, if I could see, hear it and feel it, it would invariably happen.
With this realization, I experimented to make something I wanted, happen.
But then, I was to learn something extremely important. It was a bitter lesson that would govern the rest of my life.
I was an engineer in a large aerospace corporation. I led a team that was involved in a very complex system costing millions of dollars. I was the lead engineer in one of the most prestigious programs and we had significant success that cemented my reputation. Not to mention that it had a dramatic impact on my paycheck!
Then somebody put a bug up my ear.
One of my colleagues told me that, one day, he wants to be the President of the company.
That got me thinking. Why not me? Why can’t I be the president of a company? My family had a lot of prominent people in the government and private sectors. I was expected to succeed. Why not make a name for myself in the industry? Going for the president of a company was the proper thing to do and it would make my family proud!
So, knowing that I could visualize things into existence, I imagined the trappings of the presidency. I visualized a large office, with a large desk and a window wall. Everything in that office just shouted..”Mr. President”.
That was it!
Over the years, inspired by Tesla (that’s another story), I improved my ability to visualize. And not just visualize. If I imagined a beach, I heard the people playing, the sea gulls and the surf. I saw the white sand, the colorful towels, the palm trees swaying as well as the distant car lanes. I felt the sun on my face and the coarse, warm sand under my feet. I picked up a handful of sand and felt the grains of sand flow through my fingers, something I loved to do in “real” life.
So I imagined my presidential office in all its colorful and solid “reality”.
To get to the presidency in the company I worked in involved climbing up quite a few ladders with lots of very capable people entrenched in their positions. I was an engineer in a position of technical leadership. I had demonstrated excellent technical leadership (according to my reviews) but have never been in management. From where I was, the climb to the presidency looked like the climb up the staircase of the Empire State building.
Then, it happened.
An executive recruiter was referred to me by an acquaintance from a previous job. The position was for a management position in a small engineering company with only two steps to the presidency.
I took the job.
When I arrived at my new office, I saw the office of my imagination, complete with the window wall.
I got what I imagined!
But I was in for a rude awakening.
I got the office, but I also got a lot of heartache.
You see, I was a terrible match for the job!
My personality was at odds with the work of management. I wanted time to think and create and I found myself engaged in meeting after meeting solving problems in personnel and money. I wanted to invent new things but found myself planning corporate strategies and personnel schedules and budgets. I liked working solo but found I had to deal with a lot of other people. I hate conflict yet found myself fighting with other managers!
I came to realize that I was not made of management material!
I was miserable!
I learned that being a manager of engineers meant that I no longer engineered. The creativity was gone! What I once thought was to be paradise became a prison. I was trapped. I moved my family across the country for a job I didn’t really like.
I got what I thought was the right corporate path, but I did not ask what my heart truly wanted! I did what I thought I was expected to do to make my family proud.
Looking back, I easily imagined the office because it was pleasurable (emotionally) to have such a prestigious working place. But I could not imagine the work because it was actually distasteful to me. Had I tried to imagine the work, I believe I would have had extreme difficulty holding an image. My own emotions would have repelled the thought.
Does this mean my original thought about vivid imagination was wrong?
No. But it was missing something extremely important. It was missing my heart’s desire. I focused on the trappings and not the work. I missed working on the essence of what I truly wanted.
Because of this misstep, I suffered through four years in a job I hated, in a place I disliked. But I applied the same process to recover, this time including the essence and the feeling of what I wanted. Just as before, I got what I wanted. And I am much happier for it.
That was another key lesson. Happiness is success. The trappings like the office, the car, the mansion and the wealth have nothing to do with it. Success is as individual as we are. If we go for the happiness, then success is assured. Different things make different people happy. There is no one happy strategy for all.
So despite the heartache, the lesson learned was tremendous.
It reinforced my belief and knowing in the creative power of Imagination. And, I replaced by goals of position and wealth with that of happiness. Events that followed vindicated this strategy. As I got happiness, the position and wealth followed, in surprising ways.
As Einstein professed, imagination is, indeed, the preview of life’s coming attractions.