Most of you have seen, or, at least heard of “The Secret.” While I loved the message of “intention”, some parts I found far fetched, like the mailbox that delivers checks instead of bills.
My sister, more optimistic than I, believed in its message completely. My sister is not someone who sits home wishing and praying something will happen. She’s a big “do-er” and successful at that. She owns her own business and lives a comfortable life raising her son as a single mom while still managing to travel and seek self-improvement wherever she can find it, be it in a Barnes and Noble bookstore or with a professional coach. At the beginning of this year, after watching, “The Secret”, she decided she wanted to take her physical therapy clinic to the next level. She no longer wanted to be the one providing services; she wanted to be the manager of people who do that. She wanted to get her business to the point where she could travel around the world and take photographs. But, what that meant was that she would have to pitch doctors to work with her. She had to make cold calls and sell, something she loathed because she had such a great fear of rejection. Who of us haven’t felt that fear? Enter, the professional coach. My sister finds a coach knowledgeable about physical therapy. The coach immediately gets my sister to see that it’s not about “selling something” but “helping someone” with a problem. Here’s where it gets really good. The coach and my sister agree that she will meet with three doctors this week. My sister sets up appointments with two doctors. The coach says, “But, we agreed on three. She asks, “What’s your Intention with the third doctor? This doesn’t mean you have to have a meeting, but what is your intention?” My sister thinks of a particular doctor she sees meeting in the future and then proceeds to meet with one of her scheduled appointments. One particular doctor agrees to meet only if she will bring lunch for this staff. When she arrives, she is shown the kitchen and he never shows up. Humiliated and angry, she returns to her office swearing she will never be forced into that situation again. Later that day, she winds up treating a young girl whose mother is waiting in the lobby. When my sister goes out to greet the mother, guess who it is? It’s the doctor she had “intended” to meet! The doctor tells her how she had been searching for my sister and had to look for her in the phone book. Pleased with my sister’s services, they connect and start to work together. When my sister told the coach what had happened that day, the coach said, “Focus on the ‘wins’ and not on the negatives. Think of what you did to create a win and do that over and over. Forget the bad stuff.” When my sister told me this, I had an epiphany! This was huge for me as I can beat myself up over what doesn’t work and think the solution is in problem solving. To focus on the positive is so much more liberating and energizing. Actually, I just read a NYTimes article that backs up this thinking. The article mentioned a University of Toronto study which found volunteers who were in a happy state after listening to cheerful music, found more solutions to problems than if they were sad. It seems their creativity and "out of the box" thinking worked better than when they were sad. This seems counter - intuitive when you have a problem but apparently more productive and a lot more fun to do!