I'm an avid student of the science of "woo-woo." Perhaps my search to "prove magic" is the lifelong influence of my recently released inner critic, but more likely it's the fact that my work in the world is with clients and colleagues who aren't as trusting of the Universe as I am. Rather than find this frustrating, I use this proximity to their questions to help keep me grounded. I'm both a dreamer and a pragmatist, and at the end of the day, if the dreams don't manifest some changes in my earthly existence, I'll move on. The Universe has never let me down, however; the deeper I go into spiritual exploration and studies of manifestation, the more I find to "prove" it's huge power in my life. But how to explain this to my professional friends and colleagues, especially when it's becoming core to my work as a change agent?
Through - I'm sure - divine intervention last week, a fellow consultant and I met for the first time and immediately bonded over my statement that I am working to help my clients "manage by intention" instead of "managing by objectives." She got it immediately and launched into a discussion of an article she's read by the Burnham Rosen Group based on the work of a Harvard Psychologist David McClelland. McClelland (and others) discovered in the 1960s that one of the main distinctions between successful leaders and less successful leaders was not their behavior, but their thought patterns and inner motivation. "In other words," the article says, "inner motivation was the critical differentiating factor" between successful leaders and those who were not.
Ah-ha! Thoughts and intentions do make a statistically significant difference to success – and in the business world where I roam around, no less! Although I've never doubted it, it's nice to have something concrete to point to when I encounter resisting clients.
Now, reading further into the article, it gets more businessy and less woo-woo, focusing on power motivations, which is fine because business – no matter how enlightened – is an instrument of power in our world. But one other point stood out for me from this reading. Leadership motivational thinking is a teachable skill. This is also true in my experience, after all, if "average-bear" me can figure it out, so can anyone else.
In case all this talk of business leadership pushed you off the woo-woo train, let me help you back on. I’ve now found scientific evidence in the business world for the power of intention (and motivation, its twin sister). And it’s completely, 100%, consistent with every spiritual book I’ve ever read and every personal experience of growth I’ve ever had (my own life is an ongoing experiment, after all).
Intention and motivation are the secret to God, the Universe and Everything (42 for you Douglass Adams fans). Intention, motivation, and - most importantly - the energetic state of being that these thoughts create around you when you hold them, are what determine how your world manifests around you. The same behavior performed with different mental mindsets – for example, chewing out your kid for lying or offering an employee the door – can result in dramatically different outcomes, all based on your inner thoughts and motivations as you execute that behavior.
Don’t believe me? Try using your magical eyes on your kid or employee and see if that doesn’t change the outcome for you. It should. If it doesn’t, this is an opportunity to delve deeply into your thoughts and motivations at the precise moment you were acting to see if you were really, genuinely, deeply filled with love for the person you were talking to. It is a learned skill to act out of love when the result may cause discomfort. But it does work; it can be learned; and it does change your world for the better. Don’t give up.
Some people don’t need proof that essential oils and chanting mantras work to bring them peace and abundance. I certainly didn't, but once I decided to take my masks off and integrate my personal and professional selves, I realized I needed to learn to “speak woo-woo” with the people still learning to trust the Universe. That’s actually core to my purpose on this planet. I don’t have it figured out by a long shot, but I do know this: when I hold stones and crystals in my hands, my thoughts can more easily settle and I can get into that inner state to focus my motivations and intentions more easily. It’s not the crystal itself doing the work, it’s me, drawing on the crystal’s support because my own energy happens to be aligned with it.
So really, all the woo-woo - the crystals and meditations and Feng Shui and journaling and sacred music - is just there to support the work we’re doing to bring our own internal thoughts and intentions into sharper focus so we can direct them more easily into improving our lives and making the world better. For me, it’s crystals and oils, for the Harvard MBA it might be a motivational podcast and a two mile run every morning. The point is, it doesn’t matter, as long as it works for YOU.
Each one of us has to concoct our own personal recipe for how to do important work of aligning our intentions to the world we want to build around us. And it’s not a big secret. Every “system” from The Secret to Steven Covey will tell you basically the same thing if you delve deep enough. Use the oils, read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, go on a daily hike, journal every morning, meditate and pray… do whatever works to help you release you limiting beliefs and bring your thoughts, motivations and intentions into true alignment between your heart, mind and body.
That’s it! That’s all there is to it! Whether you follow your own intuition or the “proof” of Harvard psychologists and business gurus, it all comes down to YOU. You do have the power to manifest the life you want to live. You do have the power to save the world (no biggie). What are you waiting for?
Me? I’m not waiting.
But I am curious, what's your personal recipe for concocting positive energy, intention and motivation? Do you use the woo-woo, the Harvard or some beautifully weird mix of it all? Do tell!
Love, light, and blessings,
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